Jagannath is a Sanskrit word, compounded of jagat meaning "universe" and natha meaning "Master" or "Lord". Thus, Jagannath means "lord of the universe".Jagannatha, according to them is a generic term, not unique, as much as Lokanatha or Avalokiteswara. ln fact, the name Jagannatha could be applied to any Deity which is considered supreme.
Surendra Mohanty, Lord Jagannatha: the microcosm of Indian spiritual culture.In the Odia language, Jagannath is linked to other names, such as Jaga or Jagabandhu("Friend of the Universe"). Both names derive from Jagannath. Further, on the basis of the physical appearance of the deity, names like Kalia ("The Black-coloured Lord", but which can also mean "the Timely One"), Darubrahman Chaka akhior Chakānayan , Cakadola are also in vogue.
According to Dina Krishna Joshi, the word may have origins in the tribal word Kittung of the Sora people (Savaras). This hypothesis states that the Vedic people as they settled into tribal regions adopted the tribal words and called the deity Jagannath. According to O.M. Starza, this is unlikely because Kittung is phonetically unrelated, and the Kittung tribal deity is produced from burnt wood and looks very different from Jagannath.