Definitions

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

  • n. A confusion of sounds or voices. See Synonyms at noise.
  • n. A scene of noise and confusion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative form of Babel.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The city and tower in the land of Shinar, where the confusion of languages took place.
  • n. Hence: A place or scene of noise and confusion; a confused mixture of sounds, as of voices or languages.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The Semitic name of the city (Babylon) where, according to Gen. xi., the construction of a tower that would reach to heaven was attempted, and where the confusion of tongues took place. See Babylonian. Hence A lofty structure.
  • n. A visionary scheme.
  • n. A scene of noise and confusion, as a great city or a riotous assemblage.
  • n. [cap. or lowercase] A confused mixture of sounds; confusion; disorder.

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

  • n. (Genesis 11:1-11) a tower built by Noah's descendants (probably in Babylon) who intended it to reach up to heaven; God foiled them by confusing their language so they could no longer understand one another
  • n. a confusion of voices and other sounds

Etymologies

After Babel .
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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  • "Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation." Douglas Adams, Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy

    December 20, 2007