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 Discussions are taking place inside the tech behemoth regarding whether to impose a ban on the platform ahead of the 2020 election, according to multiple reports on Friday. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "Facebook considering ban on political advertisements ahead of 2020 election," 10 July 2020 An official announcement from the ride-hailing behemoth and delivery platform confirming the deal was released Monday morning. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Uber to acquire Postmates for $2.65 billion after losing out on Grubhub deal," 6 July 2020 In early 2019, the online behemoth invested in Aurora, a Silicon Valley startup. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, "Amazon Buys Autonomous Tech Company Zoox, and Elon Musk Is Amused," 29 June 2020 The corporate behemoth has decided to turn some of its parking lots into socially distant drive-in movie theaters this summer, one more example of everything around us changing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, "Drive-In Movies Coming to Walmart Later This Summer," 6 July 2020 There are still four months to go, and the Ohio Republican Party is a behemoth not to be underestimated. cleveland, "10 battleground states -- including Ohio -- to watch in the 2020 election," 30 June 2020 Alibaba then transformed from a company founded out of a small flat to a retail-and-logistics behemoth that has a market capitalization of over $600 billion. Jane Li, Quartz, "Masayoshi Son is departing the board of Alibaba, SoftBank’s most successful investment," 25 June 2020 Look no further than Tom Rinaldi's 64-pound behemoth, wrestled from the Long Island surf in November 1990 on this 6 3/8-inch lure. John Merwin, Field & Stream, "The 25 Best Striper Surf Lures of All Time," 23 Oct. 2019 The consumer goods behemoth—which owns Dove, Ben & Jerry’s, Lux and much more—will also place labels on each of its 70,000 products to show how much greenhouse gas was emitted in the manufacturing and shipping process. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "Two-thirds of Americans think the U.S. government is failing on climate change," 25 June 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

22 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Behemoth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 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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