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Definition of "hecatomb" [hec•a•tomb]

  • A large-scale sacrifice or slaughter. (noun)
  • A sacrifice to the ancient Greek and Roman gods consisting originally of 100 oxen or cattle. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "hecatomb" in a sentence
  • "'As for amusement, I could kill rats as I used to do; or slaughter a hecatomb of pheasants at Babington,' -- here the old man winced, though the word hecatomb reconciled him a little to the disagreeable allusion."
  • "Just this week the trade organization, Reporters Without Borders, issued a communiqué prognosticating another year of "hecatomb" - cattle sacrifice to the gods - for journalists working in Mexico."
  • "‘As for amusement, I could kill rats as I used to do; or slaughter a hecatomb of pheasants at Babington,’ — here the old man winced, though the word hecatomb reconciled him a little to the disagreeable allusion ‘But it has come to me now that I want so much more than amusement."