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[lee-vahyt] /ˈli vaɪt/
a member of the tribe of Levi.
a descendant of Levi, especially one appointed to assist the priests in the temple or tabernacle.
Origin of Levite
1250-1300; Middle English < Late Latin Levīta < Greek Leuī́tēs Levite, equivalent to Leuī́ (< Hebrew Lēvī Levi, Levite) + -tēs personal noun suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Levite
Historical Examples
  • The name Lawni or Levite is still preserved as the name of a prophet whose tomb is shown to the west of Shechem.

    Tent Work in Palestine Claude Reignier Conder
  • Azartah, Ishmael, and three other priests and Levite chiefs.

    Athaliah J. Donkersley
  • Injustice is done it, if it is regarded merely as the longing of a Levite for approach to the sanctuary.

  • And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

    Jesus the Christ James Edward Talmage
  • Brother, read over with care this address of the Levite, v. 15–17.

    Broken Bread Thomas Champness
  • Like the watchful Levite of old, be a guardian at the temple-gates of your own soul.

    The Mind of Jesus John R. Macduff
  • Yet now, what to us the priest and the Levite, of God's chosen race though they were?

  • "My word is my bond, Phoenician," answered the Levite haughtily.

    Elissa H. Rider Haggard
  • Second Levite (has a bright idea): We'll tell the inn-keeper to send and fetch him.

    Shorter Bible Plays Rita Benton
  • In Mexico you must play the Levite and "pass by on the other side."

    The American Egypt Channing Arnold
British Dictionary definitions for Levite


(Old Testament) a member of the priestly tribe of Levi
(Judaism) another word for Levi2
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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Levite in the Bible

a descendant of the tribe of Levi (Ex. 6:25; Lev. 25:32; Num. 35:2; Josh. 21:3, 41). This name is, however, generally used as the title of that portion of the tribe which was set apart for the subordinate offices of the sanctuary service (1 Kings 8:4; Ezra 2:70), as assistants to the priests. When the Israelites left Egypt, the ancient manner of worship was still observed by them, the eldest son of each house inheriting the priest's office. At Sinai the first change in this ancient practice was made. A hereditary priesthood in the family of Aaron was then instituted (Ex. 28:1). But it was not till that terrible scene in connection with the sin of the golden calf that the tribe of Levi stood apart and began to occupy a distinct position (Ex. 32). The religious primogeniture was then conferred on this tribe, which henceforth was devoted to the service of the sanctuary (Num. 3:11-13). They were selected for this purpose because of their zeal for the glory of God (Ex. 32:26), and because, as the tribe to which Moses and Aaron belonged, they would naturally stand by the lawgiver in his work. The Levitical order consisted of all the descendants of Levi's three sons, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari; whilst Aaron, Amram's son (Amram, son of Kohat), and his issue constituted the priestly order. The age and qualification for Levitical service are specified in Num. 4:3, 23, 30, 39, 43, 47. They were not included among the armies of Israel (Num. 1:47; 2:33; 26:62), but were reckoned by themselves. They were the special guardians of the tabernacle (Num. 1:51; 18:22-24). The Gershonites pitched their tents on the west of the tabernacle (3:23), the Kohathites on the south (3:29), the Merarites on the north (3:35), and the priests on the east (3:38). It was their duty to move the tent and carry the parts of the sacred structure from place to place. They were given to Aaron and his sons the priests to wait upon them and do work for them at the sanctuary services (Num. 8:19; 18:2-6). As being wholly consecrated to the service of the Lord, they had no territorial possessions. Jehovah was their inheritance (Num. 18:20; 26:62; Deut. 10:9; 18:1, 2), and for their support it was ordained that they should receive from the other tribes the tithes of the produce of the land. Forty-eight cities also were assigned to them, thirteen of which were for the priests "to dwell in", i.e., along with their other inhabitants. Along with their dwellings they had "suburbs", i.e., "commons", for their herds and flocks, and also fields and vineyards (Num. 35:2-5). Nine of these cities were in Judah, three in Naphtali, and four in each of the other tribes (Josh. 21). Six of the Levitical cities were set apart as "cities of refuge" (q.v.). Thus the Levites were scattered among the tribes to keep alive among them the knowledge and service of God. (See PRIEST.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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