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 The regulators, led by Europe’s digital maven Margrethe Vestager, accuse the ecommerce behemoth of abusing its powerful, dual role as a merchant and marketplace operator. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "What if Apple’s new Mac chips are trash?," 10 Nov. 2020 Milla Jovovich and her filmmaker husband, director Paul W.S. Anderson, are tackling a new behemoth gaming franchise. Nick Romano,, "First Monster Hunter trailer pits Milla Jovovich against gargantuan beasts," 14 Oct. 2020 New photos, however, suggest progress has been consistent on the behemoth lizard. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Japan Is Building a Terrifying Giant Godzilla, Which Seems Unwise," 24 Sep. 2020 At the last minute, however, cloud and infrastructure behemoth Oracle swooped in for the potential technology partnership that muddied the waters even further. Stan Horaczek, Popular Science, "TikTok and WeChat aren’t getting banned after all—but that could change," 21 Sep. 2020 The big behemoth storms develop over Africa, around this time, becoming big hurricanes and moving west. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Tropical Storm Sally strengthens & targets Gulf Coast; Hurricane Paulette moves off Bermuda; Tropical Storm Teddy, TD 21 form," 14 Sep. 2020 China went from having a market about the size of Peru in the late 1990s to a behemoth box office. Rich Lowry, National Review, "Hollywood Shamefully Kowtows to Beijing," 9 Sep. 2020 California generates $46 billion worth of food per year, nearly double the haul of its closest competitor among US states, the corn-and-soybean behemoth Iowa. Tom Philpott, Wired, "The Biblical Flood That Will Drown California," 29 Aug. 2020 Since they were first formed by K-pop behemoth YG Entertainment in 2016, the various members of Blackpink have fast established their individual takes on fashion, each aligning themselves with a major fashion house in classic girl band style. Liam Hess, Vogue, "Blackpink and Selena Gomez’s New Video Is a Fashion-Fueled Sugar Rush," 28 Aug. 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

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

19 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Behemoth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for behemoth


How to pronounce behemoth (audio) How to pronounce behemoth (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of behemoth

: something very big and powerful

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