behemoth

noun, often attributive
be·​he·​moth | \ bi-ˈhē-məth How to pronounce behemoth (audio) , ˈbē-ə-məth, -ˌmäth, -ˌmȯth How to pronounce behemoth (audio) \

Definition of behemoth

1 often capitalized, religion : a mighty animal described in Job 40:15–24 as an example of the power of God
2 : something of monstrous size, power, or appearance a behemoth truck

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Did You Know?

The original behemoth was biblical; it designated a mysterious river-dwelling beast in the Book of Job. Based on that description, scholars have concluded that the biblical behemoth was probably inspired by a hippopotamus, but details about the creature's exact nature were vague. The word first passed from the Hebrew into Late Latin, where, according to English poet and monk John Lydgate, writing in 1430, it "playne expresse[d] a beast rude full of cursednesse." In English, behemoth was eventually applied more generally to anything large and powerful.

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

In California, a behemoth for delegates also with a Super Tuesday primary, a new Los Angeles Times/UC-Berkeley poll showed Sanders in fourth — although just 1 percentage point behind Warren. James Pindell, BostonGlobe.com, "Sanders is slowly sliding in polls — as Warren rises," 20 June 2019 Around that time, Bowlen also become a pivotal figure in the off-the-field moves that established the league as a financial behemoth. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Pat Bowlen, the Denver Broncos Owner Who Changed the NFL," 15 June 2019 This behemoth can fit two comfortably, with possibly some room left over for a small child or pup. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "The 10 Best Super-Portable Camp Chairs," 11 June 2019 Now, analysis of a fossil found on the shore of an Italian lake hints at when, and perhaps how, the blue whale became such a behemoth. National Geographic, "Fossil of 85-foot blue whale is largest ever discovered," 30 Apr. 2019 Mount Trashmore has been swelling for decades in Broward County, rising from a 10-foot pile of debris to a behemoth that’s more than 200 feet tall. Anne Geggis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Mount Trashmore, the landfill that's over 20 stories, will grow bigger and taller," 13 July 2018 Despite the debate that has raged in Venice over the regular passage of the behemoths, the historic city remains one of the world's top ports of call for cruise ships, with twice the traffic of any other Adriatic port. Colleen Barry, USA TODAY, "Venice, Budapest crashes renew debate on cruise ship safety, calls to restrict ships in Venice," 4 June 2019 The behemoth, twin-fuselage Stratolaunch jet lifted off from Mojave Air and Space Port and climbed into the desert sky 70 miles (112 kilometers) north of Los Angeles. John Antczak, The Seattle Times, "Giant Stratolaunch aircraft lifts off from California," 13 Apr. 2019 Music festivals have become corporate behemoths, an industry unto themselves. Chris Black, Vogue, "Never-Before-Seen Polaroids of Amy Winehouse, Paris Hilton, and Boots Riley Recall Coachella When It Was Actually Cool," 10 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'behemoth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of behemoth

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for behemoth

Middle English, from Late Latin, from Hebrew bĕhēmōth

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Last Updated

25 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for behemoth

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

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More Definitions for behemoth

behemoth

noun

English Language Learners Definition of behemoth

: something very big and powerful

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