jug·ger·naut (jŭg’ər-nôt′)
n. An overwhelming or unstoppable force: »

"It doesn't assume that people need necessarily remain passive when confronted by what appears to be the juggernaut of history"

(Christopher Lehmann-Haupt).
[Hindi jagannāth, title of Krishna, from Sanskrit jagannāthaḥ, lord of the world : jagat, moving, the world (from earlier present participle of jigāti, he goes; see gwā-) + nāthaḥ, lord (from nāthate, he helps, protects).]
Word History: For centuries, the Indian city of Puri has held an annual festival in honor of the god Krishna, worshiped under his Sanskrit title Jagannāthaḥ, "Lord of the World." In the middle of the rainy season, devotees transport highly adorned figures representing Krishna, his brother Baladeva, and his half-sister Subhadra from the temple where they usually reside to another temple some two and a half miles away. There, Krishna enjoys the new locale until his return a week or two later. Krishna and his siblings are transported in three chariots—massive towerlike structures about 45 feet high, mounted on many wheels, and lavishly decorated. Thousands of devotees pull the chariots with ropes and are cheered on by a crowd of over a million pilgrims. Worshipers try to obtain blessings by touching the ropes, and some have been crushed in the throng or have fallen under the wheels. Early Western observers in colonial India greatly exaggerated the number of these deaths, however, and sensationalized reports of the incidents led to the borrowing of Jagannāthaḥ into English as juggernaut, "an irresistible force that rolls unstoppably over its victims."

Word Histories. 2014.

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  • juggernaut — jug‧ger‧naut [ˈdʒʌgənɔːt ǁ ərnɒːt] noun [countable] 1. a very large company: • The software juggernaut Microsoft will continue to lead the industry with its Windows operating system. 2. something large and powerful that could be harmful to… …   Financial and business terms

  • Juggernaut — Jug ger*naut , n. [Skr. jagann[=a]tha lord of the world.] 1. One of the names under which Vishnu, in his incarnation as Krishna, is worshiped by the Hindus. See also {Jagannath}. [Written also {Juggernnath}, {Jaganath}, {Jagannath}, {Jaganatha},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Juggernaut —    Juggernaut is an English version of the Hindustani name Jaganath. It was the eponym given to Krishna, chief Hindu deity and Lord of the World. In Hindu belief Juggernaut is the name of a great idol to the god Vishnu. During the summer worship… …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • Juggernaut — Juggernaut, s. Dschaggernat …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • juggernaut — (n.) 1630s, huge wagon bearing an image of the god Krishna, especially that at the town of Puri, drawn annually in procession in which (apocryphally) devotees allowed themselves to be crushed under its wheels in sacrifice. Altered from Jaggernaut …   Etymology dictionary

  • juggernaut — ► NOUN Brit. ▪ a large heavy vehicle, especially an articulated truck. ORIGIN from a Sanskrit word meaning «Lord of the world», in reference to an image of the Hindu god Krishna carried in procession on a heavy chariot …   English terms dictionary

  • Juggernaut — [jug′ər nôt΄] n. [altered < Hindi Jagannāth < Sans Jagannātha, lord of the world < jagat, world + nātha, lord] 1. an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu, whose idol, it was formerly supposed, so excited his worshipers when it was hauled… …   English World dictionary

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  • Juggernaut — A juggernaut (audio|En us juggernaut.ogg|American pronunciation) is a term used to describe a force regarded as unstoppable, that will crush all in its path.The word is derived from the Sanskrit Jagannātha [… …   Wikipedia

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