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[hek-uh-tohm, -toom] /ˈhɛk əˌtoʊm, -ˌtum/

(in ancient Greece and Rome) a public sacrifice of 100 oxen to the gods.
any great slaughter:
the hecatombs of modern wars.
/ˈhɛkəˌtəʊm; -ˌtuːm/
(in ancient Greece or Rome) any great public sacrifice and feast, originally one in which 100 oxen were sacrificed
a great sacrifice

1590s, from Greek hekatombe “offering of 100 oxen,” but generally “a great public sacrifice,” from hekaton “one hundred” (perhaps from hen, neuter of eis “one” + *katon “hundred”) + bous “ox.” The first month of the Attic calendar (corresponding to July-August) was Hekatombaion, in which sacrifices were made.


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