hecatomb

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hec·a·tomb

 (hĕk′ə-tōm′)
n.
1. A large-scale sacrifice or slaughter.
2. A sacrifice to the ancient Greek or Roman gods consisting originally of 100 oxen or cattle.

[Latin hecatombē, from Greek hekatombē : hekaton, hundred; see dekm̥ in Indo-European roots + -bē, oxen; see gwou- in Indo-European roots.]

hecatomb

(ˈhɛkəˌtəʊm; -ˌtuːm)
n
1. (Historical Terms) (in ancient Greece or Rome) any great public sacrifice and feast, originally one in which 100 oxen were sacrificed
2. a great sacrifice
[C16: from Latin hecatombē, from Greek hekatombē, from hekaton hundred + bous ox]

hec•a•tomb

(ˈhɛk əˌtoʊm, -ˌtum)

n.
1. (in ancient Greece and Rome) a public sacrifice of 100 oxen to the gods.
2. any great slaughter.
[1585–95; < Latin hecatombē < Greek hekatómbē <*hekatombwā=hékaton one hundred + *-bwā, derivative of boûs ox (see cow1)]

hecatomb

1. a sacrifice of one hundred oxen at one time, as in ancient Greece.
2. any slaughter on a large scale; a massacre.
See also: Killing
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.hecatomb - a great sacrifice; an ancient Greek or Roman sacrifice of 100 oxen
ritual killing, sacrifice - the act of killing (an animal or person) in order to propitiate a deity

hecatomb

noun
One or more living creatures slain and offered to a deity as part of a religious rite:
Translations
Hekatombe
References in classic literature ?
Then they offered hecatombs of bulls and goats without blemish on the sea-shore, and the smoke with the savour of their sacrifice rose curling up towards heaven.
Let us ask some priest or prophet, or some reader of dreams (for dreams, too, are of Jove) who can tell us why Phoebus Apollo is so angry, and say whether it is for some vow that we have broken, or hecatomb that we have not offered, and whether he will accept the savour of lambs and goats without blemish, so as to take away the plague from us."
"The god," he said, "is angry neither about vow nor hecatomb, but for his priest's sake, whom Agamemnon has dishonoured, in that he would not free his daughter nor take a ransom for her; therefore has he sent these evils upon us, and will yet send others.
But of this we will take thought hereafter; for the present, let us draw a ship into the sea, and find a crew for her expressly; let us put a hecatomb on board, and let us send Chryseis also; further, let some chief man among us be in command, either Ajax, or Idomeneus, or yourself, son of Peleus, mighty warrior that you are, that we may offer sacrifice and appease the the anger of the god."
He escorted Chryseis on board and sent moreover a hecatomb for the god.
Meanwhile Ulysses reached Chryse with the hecatomb. When they had come inside the harbour they furled the sails and laid them in the ship's hold; they slackened the forestays, lowered the mast into its place, and rowed the ship to the place where they would have her lie; there they cast out their mooring-stones and made fast the hawsers.
So saying he gave the girl over to her father, who received her gladly, and they ranged the holy hecatomb all orderly round the altar of the god.
But Anaurus, swelled by a rain- storm, blotted out the grave and memorial of Cycnus; for so Apollo, Leto's son, commanded him, because he used to watch for and violently despoil the rich hecatombs that any might bring to Pytho.
They were almost innumerable, and seemed to have been a vast hecatomb offered up in thanksgiving to the Great Spirit for some signal success in the chase.
{1} He had gone there to accept a hecatomb of sheep and oxen, and was enjoying himself at his festival; but the other gods met in the house of Olympian Jove, and the sire of gods and men spoke first.
The intrinsic factors are intra-particular adhesions, osteo-phytes, cartilage defects, hemarthrosis and hecatombs, causing muscle fibrosis [11, 12].
Man, cutting off from each new "tree of life" Himself, its fatal flower, could still defy thee In waging on thy work eternal strife,-- The races come and coming evermore, Heaping with hecatombs thy dead-sea shore.