Definition of Mecca in English:


proper noun

  • 1A city in western Saudi Arabia, an oasis town in the Red Sea region of Hejaz, east of Jiddah, considered by Muslims to be the holiest city of Islam; population 1,385,000 (est. 2007).

    Arabic name Makkah
    1. 1.1as noun a Mecca A place that attracts people of a particular group or with a particular interest.
      ‘Holland is a Mecca for jazz enthusiasts’
      • ‘The shop was a Mecca for women who wanted not only books but advice.’
      • ‘Visions of Toronto as a national Mecca for the downtrodden spring to some minds.’
      • ‘The diving is always spectacular because it has also become a Mecca for the wildlife of the Celebes Sea.’
      • ‘Once regarded as a Mecca of tourism, the number of visitors coming to Ireland is falling steadily.’

The birthplace in AD 570 of the prophet Muhammad, Mecca was the scene of his early teachings before his emigration to Medina in 622 (the Hegira). On Muhammad's return to Mecca in 630 it became the centre of the new Muslim faith. It is the site of the Great Mosque and the Kaaba, and is a centre of Islamic ritual, including the haj pilgrimage which leads thousands of visitors to the city each year