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[li-vahy-uh-thuh n] /lɪˈvaɪ ə θən/
(often initial capital letter) Bible. a sea monster.
any huge marine animal, as the whale.
anything of immense size and power, as a huge, oceangoing ship.
(initial capital letter, italics) a philosophical work (1651) by Thomas Hobbes dealing with the political organization of society.
Origin of leviathan
1350-1400; Middle English levyathan < Late Latin leviathanHebrew liwyāthān Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for leviathan


(Bible) a monstrous beast, esp a sea monster
any huge or powerful thing
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin, ultimately from Hebrew liwyāthān, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for leviathan

late 14c., "sea monster, sea serpent," also regarded as a form of Satan, from Late Latin leviathan, from Hebrew livyathan "dragon, serpent, huge sea animal," of unknown origin, perhaps related to liwyah "wreath," from root l-w-h- "to wind, turn, twist." Of powerful persons or things from c.1600. Hobbes's use is from 1651.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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leviathan in Culture
Leviathan [(luh-veye-uh-thuhn)]

A sea monster mentioned in the Book of Job, where it is associated with the forces of chaos and evil.

Note: Figuratively, a “leviathan” is any enormous beast.
Note: Leviathan is a work on politics by the seventeenth-century English author Thomas Hobbes.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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