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hecatomb

[hek-uh-tohm, -toom] /ˈhɛk əˌtoʊm, -ˌtum/
noun
1.
(in ancient Greece and Rome) a public sacrifice of 100 oxen to the gods.
2.
any great slaughter:
the hecatombs of modern wars.
Origin
1585-1595
1585-95; < Latin hecatombē < Greek hekatómbē < *hekatombwā, equivalent to hékaton one hundred + *-bwā, taken to be a derivative of boûs ox (see cow1)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for hecatomb

hecatomb

/ˈhɛkəˌtəʊm; -ˌtuːm/
noun
1.
(in ancient Greece or Rome) any great public sacrifice and feast, originally one in which 100 oxen were sacrificed
2.
a great sacrifice
Word Origin
C16: from Latin hecatombē, from Greek hekatombē, from hekaton hundred + bous ox
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for hecatomb
n.

1590s, from Greek hekatombe "offering of 100 oxen," but generally "a great public sacrifice," from hekaton "one hundred" (perhaps from hen, neuter of eis "one" + *katon "hundred") + bous "ox." The first month of the Attic calendar (corresponding to July-August) was Hekatombaion, in which sacrifices were made.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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