- Bible a city in Shinar in which Noah's descendants tried to build a very high tower to reach heaven and were prevented by God from doing so by a confusion of tongues: Gen. 11:1-9
- an impracticable scheme
- any confusion of voices or sounds; tumult
- a place of such confusion
Origin of BabelClassical Hebrew (language) bavel ; from Akkadian b?bilu, altered (by folk-etym. associated, association with b?b, gate and amp; ili, god) ; from pre-Akkadian city name babila, Babylon
1894-1940; Russ. writer
In the Bible, a city (now thought to be Babylon) in Shinar where God confounded a presumptuous attempt to build a tower into heaven by confusing the language of its builders into many mutually incomprehensible languages.
- A confusion of sounds or voices: passengers chattering in a babel of tongues at the international airport.
- A scene or situation of confusion: “a babel of commemorative ceremonies, statues, and tombs sponsored by competing cults of martyred revolutionaries” (Thomas L. Benjamin).
Origin of babelAfter Babel.
- Alternative form of Babel.
- A confused mixture of sounds and voices, especially in different languages. [from 16th c.]
- A place or scene of noise and confusion. [from 16th c.]
- A tall, looming structure. [from 16th c.]