Definition of labyrinth in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlab(ə)ˌrinTH/


Image of labyrinth
1A complicated irregular network of passages or paths in which it is difficult to find one’s way; a maze: a labyrinth of passages and secret chambers
More example sentences
  • But they say that the inhabitants on Prangli do not know of any labyrinths on their island.
  • The original center piece has been removed and other areas of the labyrinth have been restored.
  • And of course, there is considerably more concerning the labyrinths of the Cathedrals of Northern France.
maze, warren, network, complex, web, entanglement
1.1An intricate and confusing arrangement: a labyrinth of conflicting laws and regulations
More example sentences
  • The few seemingly simple slips of paper turn out to be a confusing labyrinth of coupons, even if colour coordinated.
  • This is a place of high anxiety, a labyrinth where the protagonists become so confused by being mistaken for someone else that insanity threatens.
  • The likely result of this is a labyrinth of intricate employment and childcare arrangements that families may find harder to juggle, not easier.
tangle, web, morass, jungle, confusion, entanglement, convolution;
jumble, mishmash
2 Anatomy A complex structure in the inner ear that contains the organs of hearing and balance. It consists of bony cavities (the bony labyrinth) filled with fluid and lined with sensitive membranes (the membranous labyrinth).
Example sentences
  • These fusions divide the bony labyrinth into two chambers called scala vestibuli and scala tympani.
  • The last part contains the portion of the membranous labyrinth that is involved in hearing perception.
  • Within each semicircular canal of the bony labyrinth is a semicircular canal of the membranous labyrinth.
2.1 Zoology An organ of intricate structure, in particular the accessory respiratory organs of certain fishes.
Example sentences
  • The neuromast organs of the lateral line are similar the receptors in the labyrinth.
  • In both species several layers of transfer cells are found on both sides of the placenta, with sporophytic transfer cells exhibiting prominent wall labyrinths.
  • Thus the antennal glands of the lobster possess active ion exchange capabilities starting in late embryos, based on the presence of ionocytes in the labyrinth and the bladder.



Pronunciation: /ˌlabəˈrinTHēən/
Example sentences
  • A labyrinthian plot and a labyrinthian chase make this one of the best thrillers of the year.
  • In one of these pieces concrete labyrinthian housing blocks replace the green slopes of Puncak, a favorite mountain retreat for Jakartans.
  • Of course, hoofing your way through a labyrinthian furniture store in search of that perfect chair can also be about as much fun as dental surgery without drugs.


Late Middle English (referring to the maze constructed by Daedalus to house the Minotaur): from French labyrinthe or Latin labyrinthus, from Greek laburinthos.

  • The word was first used to refer to the mythological maze constructed by the Greek craftsman Daedalus for King Minos of Crete to house the Minotaur, a creature half-man half-bull. It comes from Greek laburinthos. By the early 17th century it was being used both for mazes in landscaped gardens and for something intricately complicated.

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Syllabification: lab·y·rinth

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