A temple tower of ancient Mesopotamia, having the form of a terraced pyramid of successively receding stories.
[Akkadian ziqqurratu, temple tower, from zaqāru, to build high; see zqr in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
(click for a larger image)ziggurat
the Ziggurat of Ur in a modern rendering
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.