Let's Compare Labyrinth and Maze


In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth (Greek λαβύρινθος labyrinthos, possibly the building complex at Knossos) was an elaborate structure designed and built by the legendary artificer Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos.

labyrinth n 1: complex system of paths or tunnels in which it is easy to get lost [syn: {maze}] 2: a complex system of interconnecting cavities; concerned with hearing and equilibrium [syn: {inner ear}, {internal ear}]

24 Moby Thesaurus words for "labyrinth": Chinese puzzle, Gordian knot, Rube Goldberg contraption, can of worms, complex, jungle, knot, maze, meander, mesh, mess, morass, perplex, ravel, skein, snafu, snake pit, snarl, tangle, tangled skein, web, webwork, wheels within wheels, wilderness

Labyrinth \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. [1913 Webster] Note: The Labyrinth of Classical Mythology was a vast maze constructed by Daedalus on the island of Crete, in order to confine the Minotaur; the task was done at the command of King Minos. One theory suggests that the myth had some basis in the structure of the palace of King Minos at Knossos, in Crete, it being a multistoried royal palace with labyrinthine passages between rooms. [PJC] 2. Hence: Any intricate or involved inclosure; especially, an ornamental maze or inclosure in a park or garden, having high hedges separating confusingly convoluted passages. [1913 Webster] 3. Any object or arrangement of an intricate or involved form, or having a very complicated nature. [1913 Webster] The serpent . . . fast sleeping soon he found, In labyrinth of many a round self-rolled. --Milton. [1913 Webster] The labyrinth of the mind. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster] 4. An inextricable or bewildering difficulty. [1913 Webster] I' the maze and winding labyrinths o' the world. --Denham. [1913 Webster] 5. (Anat.) The internal ear. See Note under {Ear}. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] 7. (Arch.) A pattern or design representing a maze, -- often inlaid in the tiled floor of a church, etc. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster]


A maze is a tour puzzle in the form of a complex branching passage through which the solver must find a route.

maze n 1: complex system of paths or tunnels in which it is easy to get lost [syn: {labyrinth}] 2: something jumbled or confused; "a tangle of government regulations" [syn: {tangle}, {snarl}]

118 Moby Thesaurus words for "maze": Chinese puzzle, Gordian knot, Rube Goldberg contraption, addle, addle the wits, amaze, baffle, ball up, bamboozle, beat, becloud, bedazzle, befuddle, befuddlement, bewilder, bewilderment, boggle, bother, botheration, buffalo, bug, can of worms, chaos, cloud, complex, confound, confuse, confusion, conglomeration, daze, dazzle, discombobulate, discombobulation, discomfit, discomfiture, discompose, discomposure, disconcert, disconcertion, disorder, disorganization, disorganize, disorient, disorientation, disturb, disturbance, embarrass, embarrassment, entangle, floor, flummox, flurry, fluster, flutter, fog, frenzy, fuddle, fuddlement, fuss, get, gordian knot, haze, hodgepodge, intricacy, jumble, jungle, keep in suspense, knot, labyrinth, lick, meander, mesh, mess, miscellany, mishmash, mist, mix up, moider, morass, muddle, muddleheadedness, muddlement, mystify, nonplus, perplex, perplexity, perturb, perturbation, pother, pucker, put out, puzzle, raise hell, rattle, ravel, ruffle, shuffle, skein, snafu, snake pit, snarl, stew, stick, stump, sweat, swivet, tangle, tangled skein, throw, throw into confusion, tizzy, unsettle, unsettlement, upset, web, webwork, wheels within wheels, wilderness

Maze \Maze\, v. i. To be bewildered. [Obs.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Maze \Maze\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Mazed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Mazing}.] To perplex greatly; to bewilder; to astonish and confuse; to amaze. --South. [1913 Webster]

Maze \Maze\ (m[=a]z), n. [OE. mase; cf. OE. masen to confuse, puzzle, Norweg. masast to fall into a slumber, masa to be continually busy, prate, chatter, Icel. masa to chatter, dial. Sw. masa to bask, be slow, work slowly and lazily, mas slow, lazy.] 1. A wild fancy; a confused notion. [Obs.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. Confusion of thought; perplexity; uncertainty; state of bewilderment. [1913 Webster] 3. A confusing and baffling network, as of paths or passages; an intricacy; a labyrinth. ``Quaint mazes on the wanton green.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster] Or down the tempting maze of Shawford brook. --Wordaworth. [1913 Webster] The ways of Heaven are dark and intricate, Puzzled with mazes, and perplexed with error. --Addison. [1913 Webster] 4. A complex and confusing system or set of rules that causes bwilderment; as, a maze of environemntal regulations. [PJC] Syn: Labyrinth; intricacy. See {Labyrinth}. [1913 Webster]

Data Sources:

  • labyrinth: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • labyrinth: Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
  • labyrinth: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • maze: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • maze: Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
  • maze: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • maze: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • maze: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44

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