Me·​thu·​se·​lah | \ mə-ˈthü-zə-lə How to pronounce Methuselah (audio) , -ˈthyü-; -ˈth(y)üz-lə \

Definition of Methuselah

1 : an ancestor of Noah held to have lived 969 years
2 or methuselah : an oversize wine bottle holding about six liters

Did You Know?

What do Jeroboam, Methuselah, Salmanazar, Balthazar, and Nebuchadnezzar have in common? Larger-than-life biblical figures all, yes (four kings and a venerable patriarch), but they're all also names of oversized wine bottles. A Jeroboam is the equivalent of about four 750-milliliter bottles (about 3 liters). One Methuselah holds about eight standard bottles' worth, a Salmanazar 12, a Balthazar 16, and a Nebuchadnezzar a whopping 20. No one knows who decided to use those names for bottles, but we do know that by the 1800s "Jeroboam" was being used for large goblets or "enormous bottles of fabulous content." Later, sometime early in the 20th century, "Methuselah" and all the other names were chosen for specific bottle sizes.

First Known Use of Methuselah

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Methuselah

Hebrew Mĕthūshelaḥ

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The first known use of Methuselah was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Methuselah.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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