Definitions

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

  • n. Something enormous in size or power.
  • n. A huge animal, possibly the hippopotamus, described in the Bible.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A great and mighty beast God shows Job in Job 40:15-24.
  • n. A great and mighty monster.
  • n. Something which has the qualities of great power and might, and monstrous proportions.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An animal, probably the hippopotamus, described in Job xl. 15-24.
  • n. something of large size or great power.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An animal mentioned in Job xl. 15–24; probably, from the details given, a hippopotamus, but sometimes taken for some other animal, or for a type of the largest land-animals generally.

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

  • n. someone or something that is abnormally large and powerful
  • n. a person of exceptional importance and reputation

Etymologies

Middle English behemoth, bemoth, from Hebrew bəhēmôt, pl. of bəhēmâ, beast; see bhm in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English bemoth, behemoth, from Late Latin, from Hebrew בהמות (bəhēmōth), either an intensive plural of בהמה (bəhēmāh) 'beast', from Proto-Semitic (compare Ethiopic bəhma 'dumb, speechless', Arabic ʼabham (declined as bahma(t), bahīma(t)) 'animal'), or borrowed from Ancient Egyptian p-ehe-mau 'hippopotamus', literally 'water-ox'. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • In the shortened language of railroad telegraphers, "Are bills of lading used as collateral? --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 20, 2013

  • By this edict a giant of the the female gender is hereafter known as a beshemoth.

    September 5, 2009

  • not enough Hebrew/Semitic-originating words in English

    March 26, 2007