noun Etymology: Latin levir husband's brother; akin to Old English tācor husband's brother, Greek daēr Date: 1725 the sometimes compulsory marriage of a widow to a brother of her deceased husband • leviratic adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • Levirate — Lev i*rate (l[e^]v [i^]*r[asl]t), Leviratical Lev i*rat ic*al ( r[a^]t [i^]*kal), a. [L. levir a husband s brother, brother in law; akin to Gr. dah r: cf. F. l[ e]virat leviration.] Of, pertaining to, or in accordance with, a law of the ancient… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • levirate — (n.) custom by which the male next of kin of a dead man was bound to marry his widow, 1725, from L. levir brother in law (from PIE *daiwer husband s brother ) + ATE (Cf. ate) (2) …   Etymology dictionary

  • levirate — [lev′ə rit, lev′ərāt΄; lē′vərit, lē′vərāt΄] n. [L levir, husband s brother, brother in law (< * daiwer < IE * dāiwēr > Sans dēvár, Gr daēr, OE tacor) + ATE2] a custom of the Jews in Biblical times by which a dead man s brother was… …   English World dictionary

  • levirate — leviratic /lev euh rat ik, lee veuh /, leviratical, adj. /lev euhr it, euh rayt , lee veuhr it, veuh rayt /, n. the custom of marriage by a man with his brother s widow, such marriage required in Biblical law if the deceased was childless. Deut.… …   Universalium

  • levirate — 1. adjective Having to do with ones husbands brother. 2. noun a) A marriage between a widow and her deceased husbands brother or, sometimes, heir. And it is, he says, impossible not to believe that the Levirate that is, the practice of marrying a …   Wiktionary

  • levirate — [ li:vɪrət, lɛv ] noun (usu. the levirate) a custom of the ancient Hebrews and some other peoples by which a man may be obliged to marry his brother s widow. Origin C18: from L. levir brother in law + ate1 …   English new terms dictionary

  • levirate — n. custom which required that a man marry his brother s widow if the deceased died childless (Biblical) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • levirate — levi·rate …   English syllables

  • levirate — lev•i•rate [[t]ˈlɛv ər ɪt, əˌreɪt, ˈli vər ɪt, vəˌreɪt[/t]] n. jud Judaism. the custom of marriage between a man and his brother s widow, required in Biblical law under certain circumstances. Deut. 25:5–10 • Etymology: 1715–25; < L lēvir… …   From formal English to slang

  • levirate — The marriage of a woman to her husbands brother …   Grandiloquent dictionary

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