From Latin labyrinthus, from Ancient Greek λαβύρινθος (labúrinthos, “maze”), possibly related to Lydian lábrus 'double-edged axe', symbol of royal power, which fits with the theory that the labyrinth was originally the royal Minoan palace on Crete and meant "palace of the double-axe."
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈlæb.(ə)ɹ.ɪnθ/, /ˈlæb.ɪ.ɹɪnθ/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈlæb.ɚ.ɪnθ/, /ˈlæb.ɹɪnθ/
Audio (US) (file)
labyrinth (plural labyrinths)
- A maze, especially underground or covered.
- Part of the inner ear.
- (figuratively) Anything complicated and confusing, like a maze.
2014 August 23, Neil Hegarty, “Hidden City: Adventures and Explorations in Dublin by Karl Whitney, review: 'a necessary corrective' [print version: Re-Joycing in Dublin, p. R25]”, The Daily Telegraph (Review):
- Whitney is absorbed especially by Dublin's unglamorous interstitial zones: the new housing estates and labyrinths of roads, watercourses and railways where the city peters into its commuter belt.
- To enclose in a labyrinth, or as though in a labyrinth.
- To arrange in the form of a labyrinth.
- Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, 1989