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Word of the Day
Saturday, June 12, 2010

Definitions for juggernaut

  1. Any large, overpowering, destructive force.
  2. Something, such as a belief or institution, that elicits blind and destructive devotion.
  3. An idol of Krishna, at Puri in Orissa, India, annually drawn on an enormous cart under whose wheels devotees are said to have thrown themselves to be crushed.

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Citations for juggernaut
It is a pity that every time this economic juggernaut encounters successful international competition in manufacturing, it resorts to bullying against its own consumers' welfare and that of the working poor worldwide. Zhang Xiang, "Going toe to toe with the bully", Xinhua
It sounds like a kamikaze mission: an upstart with a meager number of users and no capital squaring off against Facebook, a social networking juggernaut with more than 400 million members and a $15 billion valuation. Jenna Wortham, "Rivals Seize on Troubles of Facebook", New York Times, May 2010
Origin of juggernaut
1630-1640
Juggernaut is a borrowing from Hindi with dramatic roots. The Hindu source Jagannath, is a name of the divinity Krishna, literally "lord of the world." Reputably, Jagannath also refers to an idol of Krishna, at Puri in Orissa, India, annually drawn on an enormous cart under whose wheels devotees are said to have thrown themselves to be crushed.
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