• \luh-VYE-uh-thun\ • noun
1 : the political state; especially : a totalitarian state having a vast bureaucracy
*2 : something large or formidableExample Sentence:
Towering leviathans of the forest, these giant sequoias often reach heights of more than 200 feet.
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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."
*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.