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leviathan

[li-vahy-uh-thuh n]
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noun
  1. (often initial capital letter) Bible. a sea monster.
  2. any huge marine animal, as the whale.
  3. anything of immense size and power, as a huge, oceangoing ship.
  4. (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 leviathanHebrew liwyāthān
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for leviathan

leviathan

noun
  1. Bible a monstrous beast, esp a sea monster
  2. any huge or powerful thing
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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

Word Origin and History for leviathan

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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.

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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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.