A behemoth is an enormous, very strong animal. (This word originally comes from the book of Job, and it's clear that it was some kind of beast: some think it was a hippo.)
More loosely, a behemoth is anything that reminds you of a beast with incredible strength and size.
Several ways are correct.
I suggest "bih HEE muth."
Part of speech:
(Countable nouns, like “bottle,” “piece,” and “decision,” are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about “a bottle,” “three pieces,” and “many decisions.”
Likewise, talk about one behemoth or multiple behemoths.)
Other forms: The adjective is "behemothian," said "bih hee MO thee un," but it's rare.
How to use it:
Say that people or things are behemoths when they're huge like a beast and/or hugely powerful: "She's a behemoth in the industry," "the condo, a hundred-story behemoth, dominates the skyline," "he's wrestling with the behemoth of jealousy."
You can specify what kind of behemoth you're talking about, if you like: an online behemoth, a tech behemoth, a retail behemoth, the behemoths of the oil industry, etc.
Each pancake at the Hawaiian Style Cafe is a behemoth, barely fitting on a plate--and you get two of them as a side item for your meal. It's bonkers!
Just judging by the number of items in our house with Elsa, Anna, or Olaf on them, from toys to tubes of Gogurt, I'd say Disney's Frozen is still a merchandising behemoth.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "behemoth" means when you can explain it without saying "monster" or "powerful."
Think of a person or thing that's a lot more powerful than you'd guess just by looking, and fill in the blanks: "Despite (its/her/his) _____, (person or thing) is a behemoth (who/that) _____."
Example: "Despite its size, the mosquito is a behemoth that can wreak havoc."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're playing with song lyrics that include words featured in issues of Make Your Point. I’ll give you a few lines from the song, with a blank where our word appears, along with its definition. See if you can come up with it! You can follow the link to see the right answer right away, or just wait until the following day’s issue. Have fun!
Artist: Mos Def Title: Casa Bey Lyrics: Magnetic, the flows are athletic
Dimensions are perfected
But the static and ______ is power
Past pressure, and mass beyond measure Definition: related to movement and motion, or dynamic and animated
Try this one today:
Artist: Fiona Apple Title: On the Bound Lyrics: No thing I do don't do no thing but bring me more to do, It's true, I do _____ my blue unto myself, I make it bitter. Definition: to fill completely and deeply
John Lyly: “The soft droppes of rain perce the hard marble; many strokes overthrow the tallest oaks.”
1. Some close opposites of BEHEMOTH are
A. UNDERLING and RUNT
B. UNDERSTATEMENT and HINT
C. UNDERDEVELOPMENT and SHRINKAGE
2. Not everyone expected Facebook to _____ the scene as an advertising behemoth.
A. roll into
B. alight on
C. charge onto
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
"Behemoth" comes from a Hebrew word related to "beast."
A close synonym of "behemoth" starts with "j" and is based on Hindi for "lord of the world." As I wrote earlier, this "j"-word was a giant idol that got dragged through the streets on a cart, and people who worshiped the idol would willingly throw themselves under the wheels of the cart to be killed there, or so the story goes-- so our "j"-word means "something that crushes people or causes people to stupidly adore it." And it's got a harsher tone than today's word, "behemoth," which you often say in admiration or respect.
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