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[juhg-er-nawt, -not] /ˈdʒʌg ərˌnɔt, -ˌnɒt/

(often lowercase) any large, overpowering, destructive force or object, as war, a giant battleship, or a powerful football team.
(often lowercase) anything requiring blind devotion or cruel sacrifice.
Also called Jagannath. 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.
any terrible force, esp one that destroys or that demands complete self-sacrifice
(Brit) a very large lorry for transporting goods by road, esp one that travels throughout Europe
noun (Hinduism)
a crude idol of Krishna worshipped at Puri and throughout Odisha (formerly Orissa) and Bengal. At an annual festival the idol is wheeled through the town on a gigantic chariot and devotees are supposed to have formerly thrown themselves under the wheels
a form of Krishna miraculously raised by Brahma from the state of a crude idol to that of a living god

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, a title of Krishna (an incarnation of Vishnu), from Hindi Jagannath, literally “lord of the world,” from Sanskrit jagat “world” (literally “moving,” present participle of *jagati “he goes,” from PIE *gwa- “to go, come” (see come (v.)) + natha-s “lord, master,” from nathate “he helps, protects,” from PIE *na- “to help.” The first European description of the festival is by Friar Odoric (c.1321). Figurative sense of “anything that demands blind devotion or merciless sacrifice” is from 1854.
Juggernaut [(jug-uhr-nawt)]

A deity in Hinduism, considered a deliverer from sin. His image is carried on a large wagon in an annual procession in India, and according to legend the wagon crushed worshipers who threw themselves under it.

Note: A force, an idea, or a system of beliefs that overcomes opposition — especially if it does so ruthlessly — is called a “juggernaut.”


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