Canaanite god frequently mentioned in Scripture, said to have been propitiated by sacrificing children (Leviticus xviii.21), from Latin Moloch, from Greek Molokh, from Hebrew molekh, from melekh "king," altered by the Jews with the vowel points from basheth "shame" to express their horror of the worship. Hence, figuratively, "any baleful influence to which everything is sacrificed" (1799).

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