Word of the DayThursday, May 22, 2014
\li-VAHY-uh-thuhn\ , noun;
anything of immense size and power, as a huge, oceangoing ship.
(often initial capital letter) Bible. a sea monster.
any huge marine animal, as the whale.
(initial capital letter, italics) a philosophical work (1651) by Thomas Hobbes dealing with the political organization of society.
But curiously, for all the series’s influence in shaping and reflecting the leviathan of "theory" on American campuses, Benjamin is a conspicuous absence among the wealth of titles.
-- Eric Banks, "Walter Benjamin's Afterlife," The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2014
This 2000-strong bureaucratic leviathan allocates its budgets through the various ministries.
-- Misha Glenny, "Science waxes and wanes in Gorbachov's age of reform," New Scientist, 1988
Leviathan entered English in the late 1300s as a word for a giant sea monster. It finds its roots in the Hebrew liwyāthān.
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