hecatomb

hecatomb

[hek-uh-tohm, -toom]
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:
1585–95; < 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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World English Dictionary
hecatomb (ˈhɛkəˌtəʊm, -ˌtuːm)
 
n
1.  (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]

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

hecatomb
1592, from Gk. hekatombe "offering of 100 oxen," from hekaton "one hundred" (from on "one" + *katon "hundred") + bous "ox."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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