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levirate

[ lev-er-it, -uh-reyt, lee-ver-it, -vuh-reyt ]
/ ˈlɛv ər ɪt, -əˌreɪt, ˈli vər ɪt, -vəˌreɪt /
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noun
the custom of marriage by a man with his brother's widow, such marriage required in Biblical law if the deceased was childless. Deuteronomy 25:5–10.
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Origin of levirate

First recorded in 1715–25; from Latin lēvir “husband's brother” (akin to Greek dāḗr, Sanskrit devar, Old English tācor ) + -ate3

OTHER WORDS FROM levirate

lev·i·rat·ic [lev-uh-rat-ik, lee-vuh-], /ˌlɛv əˈræt ɪk, ˌli və-/, lev·i·rat·i·cal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use levirate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for levirate

levirate
/ (ˈlɛvɪrɪt) /

noun
the practice, required by Old Testament law, of marrying the widow of one's brother

Derived forms of levirate

leviratic (ˌlɛvɪˈrætɪk) or leviratical, adjective

Word Origin for levirate

C18: from Latin lēvir a husband's brother
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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