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Dec 7, 2011
This week's theme
Words having origins in Iraq

This week's words
baldachin
tabby
babylon
muslin
babel

Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
A 16th century engraving by Martin Heemskerck

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Babylon

PRONUNCIATION:
(BAB-uh-luhn, -lawn)

MEANING:
noun: A place of great luxury and extravagance, usually accompanied with vice and corruption.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Babylon, an ancient city of southwestern Asia, on the Euphrates River, now the site of Al Hillah city. It was the capital of Babylonia and known for its opulence and culture. It was the site of the Hanging Gardens, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Earliest documented use: around 1225.

USAGE:
"Tsuyoshi Morimoto said that when the economic crisis hit the international market, many big companies turned to Iraq in hopes that it would save them. 'Big companies talked a lot about Iraq and paid a huge amount of attention to it. It is just like we suddenly built a Babylon, and now the Babylon is collapsing.'"
Qassim Khidhir; "Don't Expect Too Much From Iraq"; Kurdish Globe (Arbil, Kurdistan); Jan 16, 2010.

See more usage examples of babylon in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
For every prohibition you create you also create an underground. -Jello Biafra, musician (b. 1958)

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