be·​he·​moth bi-ˈhē-məth How to pronounce behemoth (audio)
-ˌmȯth How to pronounce behemoth (audio)
often attributive
often capitalized religion : a mighty animal described in Job 40:15–24 as an example of the power of God
: something of monstrous size, power, or appearance
a behemoth truck

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In the biblical book of Job, Behemoth is the name of a powerful grass-eating, river-dwelling beast with bones likened to bronze pipes and limbs likened to iron bars. Scholars have speculated that the biblical creature was inspired by the hippopotamus, but details about the creature’s exact nature are vague. The word first passed from Hebrew into Latin, where, according to 15th century English poet and monk John Lydgate it referred to "a beast rude full of cursednesse." In modern English, behemoth mostly functions as an evocative term for something of monstrous size, power, or appearance.

Examples of behemoth in a Sentence

the newest SUV is a gas-guzzling behemoth that doesn't even fit in a standard parking space
Recent Examples on the Web Topline Shein, the Chinese fast fashion behemoth, reportedly filed confidential paperwork Monday to go public in the U.S., setting the clothing company up to potentially headline a deep roster of high-profile upcoming initial public offerings. Derek Saul, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 Probably not, and truth be told the focus is still mostly on Beam’s other brands like the bourbon behemoth that is White Label. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 26 Nov. 2023 The report had led to the banishment of Ramona Singer, a long-running figure in the Bravo behemoth, from the conference, after she was exposed for allegedly using a racial slur. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 17 Nov. 2023 At that time, Marvel could do no wrong at the box office, delivering a billion-dollar behemoth with the casual snap of Thanos’ fingers. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 12 Nov. 2023 The stock has almost doubled in the past two years, helping the company overtake behemoths like Nestle, L’Oreal and luxury-goods giant LVMH to become Europe’s most valuable company. Christian Wienberg,, 2 Nov. 2023 From there, the trajectories of Oscar honorees and box office behemoths began to deviate. Clayton Davis, Variety, 9 Nov. 2023 Former Dodgers shortstop fuels Rangers’ World Series run Oct. 27, 2023 Advertisement The Dodgers weren’t the only regular-season behemoth to encounter a stunning early playoff exit. Jorge Castillo, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 JetBlue isn’t exactly the sort of behemoth that comes to mind when imagining a defendant in an antitrust case. David Koenig, Fortune, 1 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'behemoth.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Late Latin, from Hebrew bĕhēmōth

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of behemoth was in the 14th century


Dictionary Entries Near behemoth

Cite this Entry

“Behemoth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


be·​he·​moth bi-ˈhē-məth How to pronounce behemoth (audio) ˈbē-ə-ˌməth How to pronounce behemoth (audio)
often capitalized : an animal described in the Bible that is probably the hippopotamus
: something of monstrous size or power

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