(Holman Bible Dictionary)
(assh' tuhrahth) is the plural form of Ashtoreth, a Canaanite goddess of fertility, love, and war and the daughter of the god El and the goddess Asherah. 1. The Old Testament uses the plural form, Ashtaroth, more than the singular form, Ashtoreth. The only references to Ashtoreth come in 1 Kings 11:5,1 Kings 11:33; 2 Kings 23:13. The Hebrew scribes replaced the vowels of the name Ashtart or Ashteret with the vowels from the Hebrew word for shame, boshet, to bring dishonor to the memory of the goddess. This exchanging of vowels formed the word Ashtoreth. The Greek form of the name is Astarte.