Definitions for: Labyrinth

[n] complex system of paths or tunnels in which it is easy to get lost
[n] a complex system of interconnecting cavities; concerned with hearing and equilibrium

Webster (1913) Definition: 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.

2. Any intricate or involved inclosure; especially, an
ornamental maze or inclosure in a park or garden.

3. 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. --Milton.

The labyrinth of the mind. --Tennyson.

4. An inextricable or bewildering difficulty.

I' the maze and winding labyrinths o' the world.

5. (Anat.) The internal ear. See Note under Ear.

6. (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. --Ure.

7. (Arch.) A pattern or design representing a maze, -- often
inlaid in the tiled floor of a church, etc.

Syn: Maze; confusion; intricacy; windings.

Usage: Labyrinth, Maze. Labyrinth, originally; the name
of an edifice or excavation, carries the idea of
design, and construction in a permanent form, while
maze is used of anything confused or confusing,
whether fixed or shifting. Maze is less restricted in
its figurative uses than labyrinth. We speak of the
labyrinth of the ear, or of the mind, and of a
labyrinth of difficulties; but of the mazes of the
dance, the mazes of political intrigue, or of the mind
being in a maze.

Synonyms: inner ear, internal ear, maze

See Also: artery of the labyrinth, auditory apparatus, bony labyrinth, cochlea, endolymph, internal auditory artery, internal auditory vein, labyrinthine artery, labyrinthine vein, membranous labyrinth, neuroepithelium, osseous labyrinth, perilymph, receptor, semicircular canal, sense organ, sensory receptor, system

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