• WordNet 3.6
    • n labyrinth complex system of paths or tunnels in which it is easy to get lost
    • n labyrinth a complex system of interconnecting cavities; concerned with hearing and equilibrium
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Labyrinth (Arch) A pattern or design representing a maze, -- often inlaid in the tiled floor of a church, etc.
    • Labyrinth (Metal) A series of canals through which a stream of water is directed for suspending, carrying off, and depositing at different distances, the ground ore of a metal.
    • Labyrinth 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 .
    • Labyrinth An inextricable or bewildering difficulty. "I' the maze and winding labyrinths o' the world ."
    • Labyrinth Any intricate or involved inclosure; especially, an ornamental maze or inclosure in a park or garden, having high hedges separating confusingly convoluted passages.
    • Labyrinth Any object or arrangement of an intricate or involved form, or having a very complicated nature. "The serpent . . . fast sleeping soon he found,
      In labyrinth of many a round self-rolled."
      "The labyrinth of the mind."
    • Labyrinth (Anat) The internal ear. See Note under Ear.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n labyrinth An intricate combination of passages running into one another from different directions, in which it is difficult or impossible to find the way from point to point, or to reach the place of exit from the interior, without a clue or guide; a maze. The name was anciently given to an edifice with a complicated system of passages connecting a great number of chambers. At the present day it is used especially of a geometrical arrangement of paths or alleys between high hedges in a park or garden, which lead confusedly back and forth, many of them ending in a cul-de-sac, but, when correctly followed, terminating in a central space, often occupied by a pavilion or the like. The most authentic and celebrated ancient labyrinth was that in Egypt near Arsinoë or Crocodilopolis ou Lake Mœris, having 3,000 rooms in two tiers, one of which was subterranean. The Cretan labyrinth, ascribed to Dædalus, was the abode of the fabled monster Minotaur. In medieval churches the labyrinth, formed of tiles or slabs of different colors in the pavement usually of the nave, was a frequent feature. Such labyrinths were formed on a square, circular, or octagonal plan, and were sometimes of such extent that it required 2,000 steps or more to follow their course. These labyrinths were considered emblematic of Christ's progress from Jerusalem to Calvary, and were followed with certain forms of prayer by the pious on their knees, either as a penance or in lieu of a pilgrimage. A number of them survive, as in the cathedrals of chartres and Bayeux, France; but many of the most important have been destroyed, for the reason that, having become mere objects of curiosity, they furnished occasion for disturbance of the religions services. The best known modern labyrinths are that of the garden of Versailles in France and “the maze” of Hampton Court near London.
    • n labyrinth Any confused complication of objects, lines, ideas, etc.; any thing or subject characterized by intricate turnings or windings; a perplexity.
    • n labyrinth The internal ear; the essential organ of hearing. It consists of a series of communicating cavities in the petrous portion of the temporal bone, called the osseous labyrinth, and of the membranous labyrinth contained in it. The osseous labyrinth consists of the cavity known as the vestibule, the three semicircular canals, and the cochlea. The vestibule communicates with the tympanum by the fenestra ovalis, which is closed by a membrane and the foot of the stapes. The fenestra rotunda opens from the beginning of the cochlea into the tympanum. It is closed by a membrane. See ear, cochlea.
    • n labyrinth In ornithology, same as tympanum, 2
    • n labyrinth In mining, an apparatus used in concentrating or dressing slimes. It consists of a series of troughs through which the muddy water from the dresping-floors is made to flow, the particles of ore held in suspension in the water settling themselves according to size and specific gravity. This form of apparatus was formerly much more important than it now is.
    • n labyrinth A long chamber filled with deflectors or diaphragms placed alternately, used to cool and condense the fumes of mercury, other vapors, or smoke.
    • labyrinth To shut up, inclose, or entangle in or as in a maze or labyrinth.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Labyrinth lab′i-rinth a place full of inextricable windings: :
    • n Labyrinth lab′i-rinth (orig.) a building consisting of halls connected by intricate passages: an arrangement of tortuous passages in which it is difficult to find the way out: an inexplicable difficulty, a perplexity
    • n Labyrinth lab′i-rinth (anat.) the cavities of the internal ear
    • ***


  • William Lyon Phelps
    William Lyon Phelps
    “The Gateway to Christianity is not through an intricate labyrinth of dogma, but by a simple belief in the person of Christ.”
  • Victor Hugo
    “He, who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through a labyrinth of the most busy life.”
  • Joseph Joubert
    Joseph Joubert
    “They are like the clue in the labyrinth, or the compass in the night.”
  • Victor Hugo
    “He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out the plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. labyrinthus, Gr. laby`rinthos: cf. F. labyrinthe,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. labyrinthe—L. labyrinthus—Gr. labyrinthos; akin to laura, a passage.


In literature:

Shall I double and take refuge in a labyrinth of subterfuge or turn and fight?
"The Tinder-Box" by Maria Thompson Daviess
But the presence of Rachel afforded no clew to the labyrinth.
"Red Pottage" by Mary Cholmondeley
It is strange to be reminded in this blooming labyrinth of the dusty suburb roads and villa gardens of London.
"Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece" by John Addington Symonds
Who has said one word on this labyrinth of detail, which bewilders you more and more as you enter into it?
"The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. II. (of 12)" by Edmund Burke
When evening came the guards led him away to the labyrinth.
"Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12)" by Various
We have arrived at a point from which the issue of the labyrinth is clearly visible.
"The Reign of Henry the Eighth, Volume 1 (of 3)" by James Anthony Froude
But Miss Suydam and Mr. Malcourt were not in the labyrinth.
"The Firing Line" by Robert W. Chambers
He rodes the waves, and threaded a labyrinth of ugly stones, and shot an unobstructed channel, and evaded a menacing drift.
"The Day of the Beast" by Zane Grey
Crete, labyrinth of Minos in, 92.
"The Age of Erasmus" by P. S. Allen
Time was her labyrinth, in which Hunilla was entirely lost.
"The Piazza Tales" by Herman Melville

In poetry:

Still a soft haze of delicate hyacinth
Broods o'er the sky-line, floating faint and far;
Still on the edge of night's vast labyrinth
Shines the clear vesper-star.
"Autumn" by Clinton Scollard
For there, the ever tranquil mind,
On calm Religion resting,
May in each lonely labyrinth find
The DEITY, whose boundless pow'r
Directs the blast, or tints the flow'r—
No mortal foe molesting.
"The Deserted Cottage" by Mary Darby Robinson
The castle was built in times unknown to history,
But 'tis said it belonged to the Douglas family;
And the inside is a labyrinth of broken staircases,
Also ruined chambers and many dismal places.
"Beautiful North Berwick" by William Topaz McGonagall
To-morrow—what? And what of yesterday?
Through soundless labyrinths of dream you pass,
Through many doors to the one door of all.
Soon as it's opened we shall hear a music:
Or see a skeleton fall . . .
"The House Of Dust: Part 03: 03:" by Conrad Potter Aiken
With such a dark quest in desirous eyes,
From the ancient East, as through a silent gate
In the mind's city and labyrinth of thought,
Those Magian Kings, of knowledge satiate,
Of riches satiate, and forlornly wise,
Down desert gorges brought
"The Sirens" by Robert Laurence Binyon
They came with war-whoop, following each other, like a thread,
Through the long labyrinth of trees, in sunless archway spread;
Their gnarled trunks in shadowy lines rose dimly, few by few,
Mail'd in their mossy armouring,--a pathless avenue!
"The Wolf-Drove" by Thomas Stoddart

In news:

Beneath Every City Is A Labyrinth of Last Names.
Local resident creates a labyrinth .
The couple hope that visitors to the site will use the labyrinth for various purposes including as a place of meditation.
Labyrinth of Passions is no exception.
"I had participated in labyrinths in my youth group in church in Minnesota," she said.
After she died, Brault asked Labyrinth Network Northwest to lead the sessions.
Veresh said she knows of private labyrinths close to Greenville and public labyrinths in Grand Rapids, but to her knowledge, the labyrinth at St Paul Lutheran Church is the only public labyrinth in the Greenville area.
According to the brochure, labyrinths have been used as meditation and prayer tools.
"The Princess Bride" and " Labyrinth ": Movie Tickets.
Amnesia Labyrinth , vol 1.
Millions of Puppy Mummies in Egypt Labyrinth .
Advice for navigating "The Pentagon Labyrinth ".
"The Pentagon Labyrinth " discussion.
Labyrinths have long been used as meditation tools.
Obama To Meet CEOs To Negotiate Regulatory Labyrinth .

In science:

Such processes are known to occur as well in disordered or poorly connected media in which the subdiffusion process can be studied e.g. by the ‘ant in a labyrinth’ model of de Gennes describing a particle constrained to diffuse through a percolation cluster .
Black Holes, Space-Filling Chains and Random Walks
Once we draw, for every x, d, d′ , an oriented edge from (x, d) to (x + d′ , d′ ), we are left with a rather labyrinthic picture. A better choice, it seems, is to consider Γ, the dual of the graph G whose vertices are the points of Z2 and whose oriented edges are the pairs of nearest-neighbor relations.
Recurrence for persistent random walks in two dimensions
The problem of random walk on a percolation cluster — the ‘ant in the labyrinth’ — has received much attention both in the physics and the mathematics literature.
Random walk on the incipient infinite cluster for oriented percolation in high dimensions
In two dimensions an even higher number of dynamical regimes can be expected to appear due to discreteness, since the continuous FCGL equation already exhibits a variety of patterns such as spirals, labyrinths, stripes, hexagons, etc (see e.g. ).
Breaking chirality in nonequilibrium systems on the lattice
Lauritsen, and S. ˚Aberg, 2004, in The Labyrinth in Nuclear Structure, edited by A.
Random Matrices and Chaos in Nuclear Physics