leviathan

leviathan

[li-vahy-uh-thuhn]
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.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English levyathan < Late Latin leviathanHebrew liwyāthān

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Collins
World English Dictionary
leviathan (lɪˈvaɪəθən)
 
n
1.  Bible a monstrous beast, esp a sea monster
2.  any huge or powerful thing
 
[C14: from Late Latin, ultimately from Hebrew liwyāthān, of obscure origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

leviathan
1382, from L.L. leviathan, from Heb. livyathan "dragon, serpent, huge sea animal," of unknown origin, perhaps related to liwyah "wreath," from base l-w-h- "to wind, turn, twist."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
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 American Heritage® 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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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Leviathan definition


a transliterated Hebrew word (livyathan), meaning "twisted," "coiled." In Job 3:8, Revised Version, and marg. of Authorized Version, it denotes the dragon which, according to Eastern tradition, is an enemy of light; in 41:1 the crocodile is meant; in Ps. 104:26 it "denotes any large animal that moves by writhing or wriggling the body, the whale, the monsters of the deep." This word is also used figuratively for a cruel enemy, as some think "the Egyptian host, crushed by the divine power, and cast on the shores of the Red Sea" (Ps. 74:14). As used in Isa. 27:1, "leviathan the piercing [R.V. 'swift'] serpent, even leviathan that crooked [R.V. marg. 'winding'] serpent," the word may probably denote the two empires, the Assyrian and the Babylonian.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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