Word: leviathan

Pronunciation: lə-VY-ə-thən

Part of Speech: noun

Definition: a very large aquatic creature

Source: Oxford Dictionaries


Here’s a less common word for all you fantasy and mythology enthusiasts, especially those fond of the ocean. Legends of the sea are hardly complete without a colossal sea monster to stir up some fear, so it stands to reason that such creatures deserve a name of their own. Fortunately, mythology has provided one such title: the mighty “Leviathan”.

A “leviathan” is basically an enormous water-dwelling creature. The term is especially notable in biblical use, where it refers to a giant sea monster generally equated to a whale or crocodile (e.g. Job 41, Psalms 74). This word is the English translation of the Hebrew noun liwyāṯān, which also means “whale”.

I absolutely love stories about the ocean, so I’m actually surprised I haven’t made more use of the word “leviathan” myself. A great sea monster would be an indispensable addition to a tale about the mythical beasts of the sea. Of course, the word’s uses aren’t limited to fantasy, as it can also refer to something very large and powerful (usually a ship). If you ever find yourself in need of a description for those aquatic titans in your stories, “leviathan” is the word for you! Good luck!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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