Mecca

[mek-uh]
noun
1.
Also, Makkah, Mekka. a city in and the capital of Hejaz, in W Saudi Arabia: birthplace of Muhammad; spiritual center of Islam.
2.
(often lowercase) any place that many people visit or hope to visit: The president's birthplace is a mecca for his admirers.

Meccan, adjective, noun
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Hijaz

[hee-jaz; Arabic hee-zhahz]
noun
a region in Saudi Arabia bordering on the Red Sea, formerly an independent kingdom: contains the Islamic holy cities of Medina and Mecca. About 150,000 sq. mi. (388,500 sq. km). Capital: Mecca.
Also, Hedjaz, Hejaz.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Hijaz (hiːˈdʒæz)
 
n
a variant spelling of Hejaz

Mecca or Mekka (ˈmɛkə)
 
n
1.  Arabic name: Makkah a city in W Saudi Arabia, joint capital (with Riyadh) of Saudi Arabia: birthplace of Mohammed; the holiest city of Islam, containing the Kaaba. Pop: 1 529 000 (2005 est)
2.  (sometimes not capital) a place that attracts many visitors: Athens is a Mecca for tourists
 
Mekka or Mekka
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Mecca
1823, from Arabic Makkah, sacred city of Islam, birthplace of Muhammad, which every Muslim must visit at least once. Origins have been proposed in Phoenician maqaq "ruined" or Arabic mahrab "sanctuary." Fig. sense of "any place one holds supremely sacred" (usually with lower-case m-) is from 1850.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Mecca definition


The birthplace of Muhammad, and thus the holiest city for Muslims. Muslims face in the direction of Mecca when they pray, and they are expected to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lives. Mecca is in present-day Saudi Arabia.

Note: Figuratively, a “mecca” is any place that attracts a great many people, especially for a particular reason: “Vail is a mecca for skiers.”

Mecca definition


City in western Saudi Arabia.

Note: As the place where Mohammed the prophet was born in the sixth century, it is the holiest city of Islam and the destination of numerous Muslim pilgrims.
Note: A “mecca” is a place that attracts people: “Hollywood is a mecca for would-be actors and actresses.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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