Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

levirate

play
noun le·vi·rate \ˈle-və-rət, ˈlē-, -ˌrāt\

Definition of levirate

  1. :  the sometimes compulsory marriage of a widow to a brother of her deceased husband

leviratic play \ˌle-və-ˈra-tik, ˌlē-\ adjective


Origin of levirate

Latin levir husband's brother; akin to Old English tācor husband's brother, Greek daēr


First Known Use: 1725


Learn More about levirate


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up levirate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to expose to danger or risk

Get Word of the Day daily email!