See also: moloch
New Latin, from Hebrew מולך (mólekh, “Moloch”), borrowed from Ammonite 𐤌𐤋𐤊 (mlk), an Ammonite god mentioned in the Pentateuch, worshipped by Canaanites and Phoenicians, said to have demanded child-sacrifice.
- (genus): Reptilia - class; Eureptilia, Romeriida - clades; Diapsida - subclass; Lepidosauromorpha - infraclass; Lepidosauria - superorder; Squamata - order; Sauria - suborder; Iguania - infraorder; Agamidae - family; Amphibolurinae – subfamily
- (genus): Moloch horridus – sole known species
- An ancient Ammonite deity worshiped by the Canaanites, Phoenician and related cultures in North Africa and the Levant.
- (figuratively) A person or thing demanding or requiring a very costly sacrifice.
1706, [John Rushworth], “The Speaker’s Speech to the King [marginal note]”, in Historical Collections from the Year 1638. to the Year 1641. Abridg’d and Improv’d. [...] With a Particular and More Methodical Account of the Trial of the Earl of Strafford than has been yet Publish’d, volume III, London: [s.n.], OCLC 863514195, page 248:
- [W]e can't without wonder remember that horrid Invention projected in this place, but thanks be to God diſappointed, wherein there was not Reverence to the ſacred Bones of Princes, but all were at one blaſt to be offer'd up to Moloch.
1857 November, “The Present Panic”, in Tait's Edinburgh Magazine, volume XXIV, Edinburgh: William Tait, OCLC 1607056, page 644:
- They [bankers] would do what has been done by the Bank of France—buy bullion at a premium, on the approach of danger, and keep peril at a safe and respectable distance. Any expenditure that might be incurred for that purpose would be small indeed when contrasted with the immense loss and suffering caused by the present system, and the continual fear in which the public now live of some new crisis—because it has been out of one and into another for a long period now; and that will be the case hereafter, until we have no interval to gather strength, and recruit for the next struggle with Mammon, or Moloch, or whatever other name of evil import belongs to the "Tutelarity" of Lombard-street and its precincts.
Declension of Moloch