Word of the Week (WOW) – Leviathan


Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly challenge created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link). It’s a nice post to do and will give you some practise with a dictionary, of which there are several online. Illustrations are by no means necessary, but it’s up to you.

I’m up to the letter L this week. I started off by just choosing a word at random (perspicacious). Since then, I’ve been working through the alphabet, so I’ll be looking for a good word beginning with M next week.

So, here is my WOW for this week:


 Word: Leviathan

Pronunciation:  le·vi·a·than  [li-vahyuh-thuhn;  luh- veye -uh-thuhn]

Part of Speech:  noun

Adjective: leviathan – meaning very large; gargantuan


1. (often initial capital letter: LeviathanBible. a sea monster.

The Destruction of Leviathan.

The Destruction of Leviathan. An engraving from 1865 by Gustave Doré


Levianthan sea monster with Behemoth the land monster and Ziz the air monster. Public domain via Wikimedia.

2. any huge marine animal, as the whale.


Blue whales grow up to 30 meters in length and weigh up to 190 tonnes/160tons. They are the largest existing animal and the heaviest that has ever lived. Blue whale. Image from Wikimedia Commons. Author: NOAA Photo Library.


These giant manta rays can have a wingspan of uo to 7 meters. They swim in the strong currents, slowly flapping their wings with amazing elegance. Author> Arturu de Frias Marques at Raja Ampat, West Papu, Indonesia.

3. anything of immense size and power, as a huge, oceangoing ship.

4. initial capital letter, italics: Leviathan) a philosophical work (1651) by ThomasHobbes dealing with the political organisation of society.


Frontpiece of “Levianthan by Thomas Hobbes” – author unknown. 1661


behemoth, blockbuster, colossus, colossal, dinosaur, dreadnaught, jumbo, elephant, elephantine, Goliath, jumbo, giant, mammoth, mastodon, monster, monstrous, titan, whale, whopper, whopping, gargantuan, astronomical, immense, supersize


diminutive, dwarf, half-pint, midget, mite, peewee, pygmy/pigmy, runt, shrimp, infinitesimal, Lilliputian, micro, miniscule, tiny, teeny, microscopic

Word Origin:

1350-1400; Middle English levyathan < Late Latin leviathan < Hebrew: liwyāthān

Use in a Sentence:

1. It can be a great challenge to drive a wheeled leviathan in rush-hour traffic.


2. The tree was a leviathan among redwoods.


Giant redwood tree ‘Sherman’ in the Sequoia National Park, California, USA Source: de.wikipedia uploaded by de: Benutzer: Pc fish

3. The man in front of us was a leviathan! He took up several seats at the theatre.

4. (Adjective use) The Titanic was a leviathan ship by the standards of the time.


If you’d like to see more interesting words, visit Heena’s page:

Word Treasure

About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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13 Responses to Word of the Week (WOW) – Leviathan

  1. scrapydotwo says:

    Very interesting!

  2. Bekki Hill says:

    And interesting choice, but I have to confess, I’ve never liked the word leviathan. To me it sounds like a word from an ill-thought out made up language. But that’s probably just my odd little brain.

    • milliethom says:

      It’s not a word I’d think of to use in my writing either, Bekki. It’s closely linked with the OT ‘monster’, of course, but even as a word to describe something huge, it’s not the prettiest sounding choice. I just though it was ‘Interesting’ rather tnan nice. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

      • Bekki Hill says:

        Sorry, didn’t mean to make it sound as if I was complaining about your choice. I thought it was a great choice, and partly because it brought such a negative reaction in me, then my brain went ticking on wondering why I found it so irksome. As for using in writing – I’ve a lot of 18th century coastal folk living in my head right now, so maybe I could just squeeze it in 🙂

      • milliethom says:

        I didn’t take it as criticism, Bekki! Please don’t worry on that score. All opinions are welcomed by me. I really do agree with you about the word. I liked a lot of pretty sounding words beginning with L but felt they were already well known and no one would be interested. Leviathan isn’t one you hear every day – not surprisingly, I suppose! Thank you again. 🙂

      • milliethom says:

        THe 18th century coastal folk sound fascinating. I take it that’s the novel you’re writing at the moment? I hope it’s all going well. Another historical fiction writer… Excellent. 🙂

      • Bekki Hill says:

        It is my novel. It’s rearranging itself at the moment, so seriously have got me thinking if there’s room for a sea monster. Off to walk Mr Hicks and have a think about that one. Thanks for the inspiration. Hope your novel’s going well.

      • milliethom says:

        Thanks. My novel’s actually moving now. Better a late start than never!

      • Bekki Hill says:

        Great to hear you’ve got going. Have fun!

  3. Interesting selection of the word! I would love to see whale as leviathan, but not sea monster 😛

  4. Nice word Millie, though it sounds a bit odd. I guess I won’t be using it anytime soon. But it’s always good to know the meaning of such words 🙂

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