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labyrinth

labyrinth.
1. Key-pattern, maze, or meander.

2. Planting in a garden arranged as hedges between labyrinthine paths leading to a centre, a feature of C17 garden design, e.g. Hampton Court

3. Place laid out for ritual pilgrimage in a church, e.g. the inlaid labyrinth of blue and white stones in the nave-floor of Chartres Cathedral, France: the centre of such a labyrinth was the Jerusalem or Paradise, the Holy City of God to which the pilgrim aspired.

4. Maze cut in turf, as at Wing, Rut., and Saffron Walden, Essex, England, similar in design to the labyrinths in churches, which has led to a Christian interpretation being placed upon them, but they may have a non-Christian origin.

Bibliography

Bord (1976);
Coate et al . (1986);
A. Fisher & and Gerster (1990);
A. Fisher & and Loxton (1997);
Kern (2000);
Ladendorff (1963);
Matthews (1970);
Pennick (1990)

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labyrinth

lab·y·rinth / ˈlab(ə)ˌrin[unvoicedth]/ • n. 1. a 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. ∎ fig. an intricate and confusing arrangement: a labyrinth of conflicting laws and regulations. 2. Anat. a complex structure in the inner ear that contains the organs of hearing and balance. ∎ Zool. an organ of intricate structure, in particular the accessory respiratory organs of certain fishes. DERIVATIVES: lab·y·rin·thi·an / ˌlabəˈrin[unvoicedth]ēən/ adj. lab·y·rin·thine / ˌlabəˈrinˌ[unvoicedth]ēn; -ˈrin[unvoicedth]in; -ˈrinˌ[unvoicedth]īn/ adj.

labyrinth

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labyrinth

labyrinth (lăb´ərĬnth), intricate building of chambers and passages, often constructed so as to perplex and confuse a person inside. In Egypt, Amenemhet III of the XII dynasty built himself a funeral temple in the form of a great labyrinth near Lake Moeris. More celebrated was a labyrinth in Crete built, according to Greek myth, by Daedalus to house the Minotaur (see Minos).

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labyrinth

labyrinth (inner ear) (lab-er-inth) n. a convoluted system of cavities and ducts comprising the organs of hearing and balance. bony l. the bony canals and chambers, embedded in the petrous part of the temporal bone, that surround the membranous labyrinth. membranous l. the membranous canals and chambers comprising the semicircular canals, utricle, saccule, and cochlea.

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Labyrinth

Labyrinth

an intricate, complicated, or tortuous arrangement.

Examples: labyrinth of islands, 1778; of peristyles and pediments, 1873; of rivulets and canals, 1777; of scattered suburbs, 1843; of small veins and arteries, 1615.

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labyrinth

labyrinth In architecture, an intricate structure of chambers and passages, generally constructed with the object of confusing anyone within it. In Greek mythology, Minos had a labyrinth built by Daedalus to confine the Minotaur.

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labyrinth

labyrinth The system of cavities and tubes that comprises the inner ear of vertebrates. It consists of a system of membranous structures (membranous labyrinth) housed in a similar shaped bony cavity (bony labyrinth).

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labyrinth

labyrinth XVI — F. labyrinthe or L. labyrinthus—Gr. labúrinthos, of non-Hellenic orig.

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labyrinth

labyrinth •amaranth •nth, tenth •eighteenth, fifteenth, fourteenth, nineteenth, seventeenth, sixteenth, thirteenth, umpteenth •plinth, synth •Corinth • labyrinth • jacinth •absinthe • hyacinth • ninth •crème de menthe • month •twelvemonth •billionth, millionth, trillionth, zillionth •eleventh, seventh •thousandth • dozenth

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