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leviathan
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leviathan


They were assigned the leviathan of textbooks.
  something that is exceedingly large — absolutely or relative to its kind

or:

older usage:  a sea monster or whale
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leviathan leviathans
Notes:
Hobbes, who wrote the book during the English Civil War, believed that people are so inclined to fight that the only hope of peace is absolute submission of each person’s will to the will of a sovereign. Philosophers and political scientists call Hobbes argument a social contract theory. If you are interested in such things, you can find an interesting discussion of competing social contract theories in Wikipedia under Social Contract.
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Wikipedia - Leviathan (sea monster)
Wikipedia - Leviathan (book)
Samples:
  • They were assigned the leviathan of textbooks.
  • it was a leviathan among air craft carriers
  • [W]ith a full grown leviathan this is impossible; for the sperm whale’s head embraces nearly one third of his entire bulk...
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • For not by hook or by net could this vast leviathan be caught,
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick

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  • And for that he was cast down into the pit with the angels who had taken his side: Belial, and Azazel, and Asmodeus, and Leviathan.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Heavenly Fire
  • AS WE APPROACH, the complex seems to rise from the snow like a leviathan from the deep.
    Rick Yancey  --  The Infinite Sea
  • Big Mama was a cheerful leviathan who lived in A Dorm—quick with a play on words, generally benevolent, and prodigious in girth.
    Piper Kerman  --  Orange Is the New Black
  • Somewhere beyond that the groaning leviathan that is Zollverein.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • Frank had little money saved and no investments, having been like myself only a high class wage-earner within or perhaps I should say astride the precarious back of the monstrous leviathan known as American business.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • Then the sleeping leviathan breathed out, the waters rose, the weed streamed, and the water boiled over the table rock with a roar.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies

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  • Fetch me this herb: and be thou here again Ere the leviathan can swim a league.
    William Shakespeare  --  A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • But to the Japanese, the swift leviathans were terrifying, inspiring the graffiti that Louie had seen.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • Her virtuous, pale-blue, saucerlike eyes flooded with leviathan tears on unexpected occasions and made Yossarian mad.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • We have to neutralize those leviathans.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Last Olympian
  • The grease and chemicals that are poured into it undergo all sorts of strange transformations, which are the cause of its name; it is constantly in motion, as if huge fish were feeding in it, or great leviathans disporting themselves in its depths.
    Upton Sinclair  --  The Jungle
  • It is this: that the island was not an island in the conventional sense of the term—that is, a small landmass rooted to the floor of the ocean—but was rather a free-floating organism, a ball of algae of leviathan proportions.
    Yann Martel  --  Life of Pi
  • He believed in it as certain pious women believe in the leviathan from the Book of Job—out of faith, not reason.
    Jules Verne  --  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • It had moved in the midnight waters of space like a pale sea leviathan; it had passed the ancient moon and thrown itself onward into one nothingness following another.
    Ray Bradbury  --  The Martian Chronicles
  • Keeping his footing on the heaving deck by clutching the bulwarks, my brother looked past this charging leviathan at the Martians again, and he saw the three of them now close together, and standing so far out to sea that their tripod supports were almost entirely submerged.
    H.G. Wells  --  The War of the Worlds
  • Seldom seen but universally feared, the OS director cruised the deep waters of the CIA like a leviathan who surfaced only to devour its prey.
    Dan Brown  --  The Lost Symbol
  • Out on the pale criss-crossed sand, high-stepping, fringed, gauntleted, stalked some fantastic leviathan (she was still enlarging the pool), and slipped into the vast fissures of the mountain side.
    Virginia Woolf  --  To the Lighthouse
  • Write till your ink be dry, and with your tears Moist it again, and frame some feeling line That may discover such integrity: For Orpheus’ lute was strung with poets’ sinews, Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones, Make tigers tame, and huge leviathans Forsake unsounded deeps to dance on sands.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • When I read about those solitary leviathans, I feared I had stumbled on an allegory of my own life, that I would spend my life unable to make a connection, unable to find someone attracted by the beauty and urgency of my song.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • And the redeemed of Yahweh, in their roof garden, are served the inexhaustible, delicious flesh of the monsters Behemoth, Leviathan, and Ziz, while drinking the liquors of the four sweet rivers of paradise.
    Joseph Campbell  --  The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • A quake! As if leviathan leaped for the hook and fell back threshing.
    Henry Roth  --  Call It Sleep
  • His fingers twitched and the leviathan within him began to stir once again.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Second Siege
  • Sing to me in the language of leviathan, that I may know his name.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Feast For Crows
  • Behind the dais a kraken and grey leviathan were locked in battle beneath the painted waves.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Dance With Dragons
  • 41:1 Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?
    The Bible  --  Job
  • It lifts whales—huge leviathans and white jellies, what is amorphous and wandering; I detect, I perceive.
    Virginia Woolf  --  The Waves
  • 74:14 Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.
    The Bible  --  Psalms
  • It is followed by another and another, and then, like some leviathan of the deep, Circe rises from the well, pink and alive.
    Libba Bray  --  Sweet Far Thing
  • When last he’d seen Lordsport, it had been a smoking wasteland, the skeletons of burnt longships and smashed galleys littering the stony shore like the bones of dead leviathans, the houses no more than broken walls and cold ashes.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Clash of Kings
  • —THE INTESTINE OF THE LEVIATHAN CHAPTER I. THE LAND IMPOVERISHED BY THE SEA Paris casts twenty-five millions yearly into the water.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • I wish to be a better man than I have been, than I am; as Job’s leviathan broke the spear, the dart, and the habergeon, hindrances which others count as iron and brass, I will esteem but straw and rotten wood."
    Charlotte Bronte  --  Jane Eyre
  • Will sensed a stir in Jim’s house; Jim, too, with his fine dark antennae, must have felt the waters part high over town to let a Leviathan pass.
    Ray Bradbury  --  Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • 1651 LEVIATHAN by Thomas Hobbes LEVIATHAN OR THE MATTER, FORME, & POWER OF A COMMON-WEALTH ECCLESIASTICAL AND CIVILL By Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury.
    Thomas Hobbes  --  Leviathan
  • Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate, With head uplift above the wave, and eyes That sparkling blazed; his other parts besides Prone on the flood, extended long and large, Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge As whom the fables name of monstrous size, Titanian or Earth-born, that warred on Jove, Briareos or Typhon, whom the den By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast Leviathan, which God of all his works Created hugest that swim th’ ocean-stream.
    John Milton  --  Paradise Lost
  • In the lumbering old Leviathan, they are the heartbeat that misses.
    John Gardner  --  The Sunlight Dialogues
  • I fish for Leviathan with naught but hook and string.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Fiend And The Forge
  • The fog seemed to break away as though split by a wedge, and the bow of a steamboat emerged, trailing fog-wreaths on either side like seaweed on the snout of Leviathan.
    Jack London  --  Sea Wolf
  • Amongst the banners, she saw the silver fish of Botley, the stone tree of the Stonetrees, the black leviathan of Volmark, the nooses of the Myres.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Feast For Crows
  • 1651 LEVIATHAN by Thomas Hobbes LEVIATHAN OR THE MATTER, FORME, & POWER OF A COMMON-WEALTH ECCLESIASTICAL AND CIVILL By Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury.
    Thomas Hobbes  --  Leviathan
  • For a Khan of the plank, and a king of the sea, and a great lord of Leviathans was Ahab.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • Leviathan maketh a path to shine after him; One would think the deep to be hoary.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • —In one respect this is the most venerable of the leviathans, being the one first regularly hunted by man.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • There go the ships; there is that Leviathan whom thou hast made to play therein.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • Above, you have all the Leviathans of note.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • Old Nick take me if is not Leviathan described by the noble prophet Moses in the life of patient Job.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • The great Leviathan that maketh the seas to seethe like boiling pan.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
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Associated words [difficulty]:   leviathan [5]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Philosophy, Logic & Reasoning, Public Policy & Politics
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