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Labyrinth definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

LAB'YRINTH, n. [L. labyrinthus; Gr.]
1. Among the ancients, an edifice or place full of intricacies, or formed with winding passages, which rendered it difficult to find the way from the interior to the entrance. The most remarkable of these edifices mentioned, are the Egyptian and the Cretan labyrinths.
2. A maze; an inexplicable difficulty.
3. Formerly, an ornamental maze or wilderness in gardens.
4. A cavity in the ear.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: complex system of paths or tunnels in which it is easy to get lost [syn: maze, labyrinth]
2: a complex system of interconnecting cavities; concerned with hearing and equilibrium [syn: inner ear, internal ear, labyrinth]

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Middle English laborintus, from Latin labyrinthus, from Greek labyrinthos Date: 14th century 1. a. a place constructed of or full of intricate passageways and blind alleys b. a maze (as in a garden) formed by paths separated by high hedges 2. something extremely complex or tortuous in structure, arrangement, or character ; intricacy, perplexity <a labyrinth of swamps and channels> <guided them through the labyrinths of city life Paul Blanshard> 3. a tortuous anatomical structure; especially the internal ear or its bony or membranous part

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. 1 a complicated irregular network of passages or paths etc.; a maze. 2 an intricate or tangled arrangement. 3 Anat. the complex arrangement of bony and membranous canals and chambers of the inner ear which constitute the organs of hearing and balance. Phrases and idioms: labyrinth fish = GOURAMI. Derivatives: labyrinthian adj. labyrinthine adj. Etymology: F labyrinthe or L labyrinthus f. Gk laburinthos

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Labyrinth Lab"y*rinth, n. [L. labyrinthus, Gr. laby`rinthos: cf. F. labyrinthe.] 1. An edifice or place full of intricate passageways which render it difficult to find the way from the interior to the entrance; as, the Egyptian and Cretan labyrinths.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(labyrinths) 1. If you describe a place as a labyrinth, you mean that it is made up of a complicated series of paths or passages, through which it is difficult to find your way. (LITERARY) ...the labyrinth of corridors. = maze N-COUNT: oft N of n 2. If you describe a situation, process, or area of knowledge as a labyrinth, you mean that it is very complicated. (FORMAL) ...a labyrinth of conflicting political and sociological interpretations. = maze N-COUNT: usu N of n

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. Maze, perplexity, intricacy.

Moby Thesaurus

Chinese puzzle, Gordian knot, Rube Goldberg contraption, can of worms, complex, jungle, knot, maze, meander, mesh, mess, morass, perplex, ravel, skein, snafu, snake pit, snarl, tangle, tangled skein, web, webwork, wheels within wheels, wilderness

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