Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
lev·i·rate(lĕv′ər-ĭt, -ə-rāt′, lē′vər-ĭt, -və-rāt′)
The practice of marrying the widow of one's childless brother to maintain his line, as required by ancient Hebrew law.
lev′i·rat′ic (-răt′ĭk), lev′i·rat′i·cal adj.
(Bible) the practice, required by Old Testament law, of marrying the widow of one's brother
[C18: from Latin lēvir a husband's brother]
leviratic, ˌleviˈratical adj
lev•i•rate(ˈlɛv ər ɪt, -əˌreɪt, ˈli vər ɪt, -vəˌreɪt)
Judaism. the custom of marriage between a man and his brother's widow, required in Biblical law under certain circumstances. Deut. 25:5–10.
[1715–25; < Latin lēvir husband's brother (akin to Old English tācor, Greek dāḗr, Skt devar) + -ate3]
lev•i•rat•ic (ˌlɛv əˈræt ɪk, ˌli və-) lev`i•rat′i•cal, adj.
the custom under the Mosaic code (Deut. xxv: 5-10) that required a widow to marry her dead husband’s brother if she had no sons. — levirate, leviratical, adj.See also: Judaism
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||levirate - the biblical institution whereby a man must marry the widow of his childless brother in order to maintain the brother's line|
institution - a custom that for a long time has been an important feature of some group or society; "the institution of marriage"; "the institution of slavery"; "he had become an institution in the theater"