Definition of leviathan
1a often capitalized : a sea monster defeated by Yahweh in various scriptural accountsb : a large sea animal this leviathan of animals is the great Blue Whale — Weston LaBarre
2 capitalized : the political state; especially : a totalitarian state having a vast bureaucracy
3 : something large or formidable that leviathan of international corporations
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Examples of leviathan in a Sentence
The factory is a towering leviathan in the middle of the town.
a leviathan of the seas, that cruise ship is said to be the largest passenger vessel afloat
Recent Examples of leviathan from the Web
Then again, this Chevy is more of a leviathan than most pickups.
In a review requested by Rep. David McSweeney, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability said if Illinois goes a third full year without a budget agreement, the state’s leviathan of past-due bills will hit $22.7 billion.
In a study published Tuesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a team of researchers investigated gigantism in baleen whales, the filter-feeding leviathans that include blue whales, bowhead whales and fin whales.
Thirty-eight years later, ESPN has evolved into an news-gathering leviathan of such consequence that last week's announcement of 100 or so layoffs made national headlines.
These prehistoric lizard-like leviathans march calmly through golf course fairways, across college campuses and end up in urban drainage systems and even neighborhood swimming pools.
As the annual gray whale migration begins, marine biologists say crowds of the leviathans may be visible along our coast in the coming months, following record numbers of whale sightings last season.
After Thursday’s Child was sideswiped by the leviathan, Reppy noticed that navigation became increasingly difficult.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'leviathan'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Old Testament references to a huge sea monster, Leviathan (in Hebrew, Liwyāthān), are thought to spring from an ancient myth in which the god Baal slays a multiheaded sea monster. Leviathan appears in the book of Psalms, as a sea serpent that is killed by God and then given as food to the Hebrews in the wilderness, and it is referred to in the book of Job as well. We began equating Leviathan with the political state after the philosopher Thomas Hobbes used the word in (and as the title of) his 1651 political treatise on government. Today, Leviathan often suggests a crushing political bureaucracy. Leviathan can also be immensely useful as a general term meaning "something monstrous or of enormous size."
Origin and Etymology of leviathan
Middle English, from Late Latin, from Hebrew liwyāthān
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
LEVIATHAN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of leviathan for English Language Learners
: something that is very large and powerful
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