from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A large-scale sacrifice or slaughter.
- n. A sacrifice to the ancient Greek and Roman gods consisting originally of 100 oxen or cattle.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. In ancient Greece or Rome, a great feast and public sacrifice to the gods, originally of a hundred oxen.
- n. Any great sacrifice; a great number of people, animals or things, especially as sacrificed or destroyed; a large amount.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A sacrifice of a hundred oxen or cattle at the same time; hence, the sacrifice or slaughter of any large number of victims.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In classical antiquity, a sacrifice of a hundred oxen or other beasts of one kind; hence, any great sacrifice of victims; any great slaughter of persons or animals.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a great sacrifice; an ancient Greek or Roman sacrifice of 100 oxen
Latin hecatombē, from Greek hekatombē : hekaton, hundred; see dekm̥ in Indo-European roots + -bē, oxen; see gwou- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin hecatombē, from Ancient Greek ἑκατόμβη, from ἑκατόν ("hundred") + βοῦς ("ox"). (Wiktionary)