Part of speech: noun

A great sacrifice, originally of a hundred bulls.

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Usage examples "hecatomb":

  1. But the sense of the futility of the whole heathen plan, of the vanity of the revenge to which the Christian ghost hounds his son, of the moral void left by the initial crime and its concomitants, not to be filled by any hecatomb of slain wrongdoers- the sense of all this, which is the essence of the tragedy, though so few critics seem to see it, clearly emerges only in the finished play. - "Montaigne and Shakspere", John M. Robertson.
  2. Hence springs their confidence, and from our sighs Their rapine strengthens, and their riots rise: Constant as Jove the night and day bestows, Bleeds a whole hecatomb, a vintage flows. - "The Odyssey of Homer", Homer, translated by Alexander Pope.
  3. But Meriones, hastening, snatched the bow from his hand; and now held the arrow for a long time, as he had directed it; and immediately vowed to sacrifice to far- darting Apollo a noble hecatomb of firstling lambs. - "The Iliad of Homer (1873)", Homer.