(among the ancient Babylonians and Assyrians) a temple of Sumerian origin in the form of a pyramidal tower, consisting of a number of stories and having about the outside a broad ascent winding round the structure, presenting the appearance of a series of terraces.
Also, zikkurat, zikurat [zik-oo-rat] .

1875–80; < Akkadian ziqquratu

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World English Dictionary
ziggurat, zikkurat or zikurat (ˈzɪɡʊˌræt, ˈzɪkʊˌræt)
a type of rectangular temple tower or tiered mound erected by the Sumerians, Akkadians, and Babylonians in Mesopotamia. The tower of Babel is thought to be one of these
[C19: from Assyrian ziqqurati summit, height]
zikkurat, zikkurat or zikurat
[C19: from Assyrian ziqqurati summit, height]
zikurat, zikkurat or zikurat
[C19: from Assyrian ziqqurati summit, height]

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

1877, from Assyrian ziqquratu "height, pinnacle," from zaqaru "to be high."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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