behemoth

noun, often attributive
be·​he·​moth | \bi-ˈhē-məth, ˈbē-ə-məth, -ˌmäth, -ˌmȯth \

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

While the cruelty-free movement has been picking up steam over the last few years, this marks a huge step forward for the cosmetics industry: Beauty behemoth CoverGirl is now entirely cruelty-free. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "CoverGirl Just Announced It's Now Entirely Cruelty-Free," 5 Nov. 2018 Several of Drake’s most recent videos, released in support of his behemoth fifth studio album, Scorpion, have been directed by Karena. Stephanie Smith-strickland, Teen Vogue, "Karena Evans Got Her Big Break by Cold-Texting Music Video Legend Director X," 13 Sep. 2018 In response, Stankey wants HBO to become another titan in this era of streaming behemoths. David Sims, The Atlantic, "AT&T’s Troubling Plan to Make HBO More Like Netflix," 9 July 2018 As a result, both money and talent are being funneled to just a handful of behemoth companies, based in two countries: the U.S. and China. Alan Murray, Fortune, "China Mobile, Glencore Woes, HTC Cuts: CEO Daily for July 3, 2018," 3 July 2018 The behemoth piece of farm equipment has been MIA since an outbreak of severe weather in southeast Montana and western South Dakota, according to the National Weather Service, which surveyed the storm damage the following morning. Angela Fritz, Washington Post, "Missing: Five-ton tractor, last seen tossed by tornado on South Dakota farm," 3 July 2018 None of the teams involved in those three previous examples made it to the World Series, so consider that a word of caution to this year’s American League behemoths. Noah Trister, The Seattle Times, "AL East, AL West races in rarified air so far," 2 July 2018 Aviation enthusiasts yearning for ultra-fast, ultra-sleek intercontinental transportation—rather than 18-hour flights on stuffed-to-the gills widebody behemoths—might finally get their wish. Eric Adams, WIRED, "Boeing’s Proposed Hypersonic Plane Is Really, Really Fast," 28 June 2018 Most cutting-edge telescopes these days are multi-million dollar behemoths placed on the tops of remote mountains, not in busy cities. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Now That the Smog Has Lifted, Astronomy Returns to London’s Royal Observatory," 28 June 2018

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

12 Nov 2018

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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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