Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A Muslim shrine in Mecca toward which the faithful turn to pray.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. Alternative spelling of Caaba.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • proper n. The small and nearly cubical stone building, in the court of the Great Mosque at Mecca, toward which all Mohammedans must pray. It contains a sacred black stone, believed by Mohammedans to be one of the precious stones of paradise, and to have been brought to Abraham when he was contructing the Kaaba, by the Angel Gabriel. The Kaaba itself predates Mohammed, having been a pantheon which contained Arab idols, which were destroyed by Mohammed.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A cube-shaped, flat-roofed building in the center of the Great Mosque at Mecca: the most sacred shrine of the Mohammedans.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Islam) a black stone building in Mecca that is shaped like a cube and that is the most sacred Muslim pilgrim shrine; believed to have been given by Gabriel to Abraham; Muslims turn in its direction when praying

Etymologies

Arabic ka'ba, cube, cubic structure, from ka'aba, to swell, be full (said of breasts); see kʿb in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Inside the mosque is a building called the Kaaba, which is the holiest place in Islam.

    CNN Transcript Dec 22, 2001

  • The 53-year-old wanted to demolish the Kaaba, which is a cube-shaped building at the heart of Mecca and is the centre of prayers and the Islamic Hajj pilgrimage.

    Roland Emmerich Developing 2012 Sequel 2013 As Television Series | /Film

  • Round the Kaaba is a good pavement of marble, about eight inches below the level of the great square; it was laid in A.H. 981, by order of the Sultan, and describes an irregular oval; it is surrounded by thirty-two slender gilt pillars, or rather poles, between every two of which are suspended seven glass lamps, always lighted after sun-set.

    Travels in Arabia

  • It was at this period that the structure took the name of Kaaba, which is said to be derived from kaab, a die or cube, the form which the building now assumed.

    Travels in Arabia

  • Within the centre of this enclosed space is a cube-shaped building called the Kaaba, which contains the famous sacred

    Wealth of the World's Waste Places and Oceania

  • The chief sanctuary of Mecca is the building called the Kaaba, which lies in the center of a vast courtyard surrounded by a colonnade.

    Early European History

  • The relic is said to be a fragment of the same gray Mecca stone of which the whole building is constructed, -- in this respect differing from the famous black stone brought to Abraham and Ishmael by the angel Gabriel, and built into the north-east corner of the exterior wall of the Kaaba, which is said by scientific men to be either a meteorite or fragment of volcanic basalt.

    Roman Mosaics Or, Studies in Rome and Its Neighbourhood

  • The Kaaba is the most sacred shrine or altar of the Mohammedans.

    The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 1, No. 16, February 25, 1897 A Weekly Magazine for Boys and Girls

  • The famous Kaaba, which is in the middle of the great court-yard, looked at a distance like an enormous cube, covered with a black curtain, but its plan is really trapeziform.

    The Life of Sir Richard Burton

  • Early next morning they rose, bathed, and made their way with the crowd to the Prophet's Mosque in order to worship at the huge bier-like erection called the Kaaba, and the adjacent semi-circular Hatim's wall.

    The Life of Sir Richard Burton

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