Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Bible A member of the tribe of Levi but not descended from Aaron and, if male, chosen to assist the Temple priests.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A member of the Hebrew tribe of Levi.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the tribe or family of Levi; a descendant of Levi; esp., one subordinate to the priests (who were of the same tribe) and employed in various duties connected with the tabernacle first, and afterward the temple, such as the care of the building, bringing of wood and other necessaries for the sacrifices, the music of the services, etc.
  • n. A priest; -- so called in contempt or ridicule.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Jewish hist., a descendant of Levi, one of the sons of Jacob; one of the tribe of Levi.
  • n. Specifically, one of a body of assistants to the priests in the tabernacle and temple service of the Jews.
  • n. Hence In the early Christian church, a deacon as distinguished from a priest.
  • n. A priest; a clergyman: often in slight contempt.
  • n. A fashionable dress for women, introduced about 1780. It was satirized by Horace Walpole as resembling “a man's night-gown bound round with a belt.”

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a member of the Hebrew tribe of Levi (especially the branch that provided male assistants to the temple priests)

Etymologies

Middle English, from Late Latin Lēvītēs, Lēvīta, from Greek Leuītēs, from Leui, Levi, from Hebrew Lēwî.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Levi +‎ -ite. (Wiktionary)

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