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 Bezos founded Amazon as an online bookstore and turned it into a behemoth that sells just about everything. Joseph Pisani, Chron, "Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder, will step down as CEO," 2 Feb. 2021 Ambani now dreams of turning his empire into a global tech behemoth and his influence in India is reportedly unparalleled. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "Xi Jinping’s new economic strategy for China: ‘Dual circulation’ or doublespeak?," 15 Oct. 2020 Today, diamond behemoth De Beers launches a collection of modern engagement rings in collaboration with ten independent jewelry designers, including Pamela Love, Marla Aaron, Catherine Sarr of Almasika, and Wing Yau of Wwake. Daisy Shaw-ellis, Vogue, "De Beers Latest Engagement Ring Collection Comes From Ten Contemporary Jewelry Designers," 18 Jan. 2021 Earlier this year, a rumor surfaced that the Toyota Land Cruiser, beloved behemoth and longtime owner of the Fanciest Toyota title, was getting axed after the 2021 model year. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "Toyota Land Cruiser Is Dead for 2022," 23 Dec. 2020 In September, retail behemoth Amazon announced its Luxury Stores at Amazon initiative, a by-invitation offering for eligible Prime members, accessed through its mobile app. Kavita Daswani, Los Angeles Times, "FastAF offers goods from CBD drinks to designer hand soap. Can it take on Amazon?," 19 Nov. 2020 Our current process, which takes years and more money than anyone but a corporate behemoth can muster, too often squashes idiosyncrasy and cuts off artists from their communities of inspiration. New York Times, "‘Ratatouille’ Review: What’s Small and Hairy With Big Dreams?," 3 Jan. 2021 This is in contrast to Pfizer, a global behemoth with almost 90,000 employees. Andrea Kane, CNN, "Some think Moderna VIPS may cut the line to get scarce Covid-19 vaccine," 30 Dec. 2020 Boca Chica factory are assembling 30-foot-wide sections for an even larger rocket: a 230-foot-tall behemoth called SuperHeavy. Joe Pappalardo, Science, "Fiery crash of SpaceX's Starship rocket ignites dreams of future spaceflight," 10 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for behemoth

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

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Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Behemoth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of behemoth

: something very big and powerful

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