Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Leviathan

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is leviathan. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

leviathan is something large or formidable.

// Towering leviathans of the forest, these giant sequoias often reach heights of more than 200 feet.

LEVIATHAN in Context

“The Juno probe has been tasked with studying a leviathan: Jupiter, the heavyweight of the Solar System, King of the Planets.” — Michelle Starr, Science Alert, 23 Mar. 2022

Did You Know?

Old Testament references to a huge sea monster, Leviathan (in Hebrew, Liwyāthān), are thought to come 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 creatures in the wilderness, and it is mentioned in the Book of Job as well. Today, its name is used for “something monstrous or of enormous size.”

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