[ li-vahy-uh-thuhn ]
/ lɪˈvaɪ ə θən /
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See synonyms for: leviathan / leviathans on Thesaurus.com


(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.



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Origin of leviathan

1350–1400; Middle English levyathan<Late Latin leviathan ≪ Hebrew liwyāthān
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for leviathan

/ (lɪˈvaɪəθən) /


Bible a monstrous beast, esp a sea monster
any huge or powerful thing
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

Cultural definitions for 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.

Figuratively, a “leviathan” is any enormous beast.
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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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