Open main menu

Wiktionary β

See also: babel, bąbel, and Bąbel
See Wiktionary Babel for information about language boxes on user pages




From Latin Babel, from Biblical Hebrew בָּבֶל (bāḇel, Babylon), from Akkadian 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 (bāb ili, gate of God), translation of Sumerian 𒅗𒀭 (KA.DINGIR); in Genesis associated with the idea of confusion.


Proper nounEdit


  1. The city and tower in the land of Shinar where the confusion of languages took place, according to the Bible.
    • Therefore is the name of it called Babel. — Gen. xi. 9.


Babel (plural Babels)

  1. A confused mixture of sounds and voices, especially in different languages. [from 16th c.]
    • 2007, Edwin Mullins, The Popes of Avignon, Blue Bridge 2008, p. 48:
      A babel of languages could be heard in the streets and the squares, mingling with the local Provençal.
  2. A place or scene of noise and confusion. [from 16th c.]
  3. A tall, looming structure. [from 16th c.]

Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit