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Related to leviratic: sororate


 (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.

[From Latin lēvir, husband's brother; see daiwer- in Indo-European roots.]

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


(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
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.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"
References in periodicals archive ?
However, a widow has the right to reject a leviratic union; and many widows do so.
This leviratic marriage practice promoted polygamy as it put on an extra burden on these men who may already be having their own families.
Catherine Hezser's chapter, "The Halitzah Shoe: Between Female Subjugation and Symbolic Emasculation," focuses on a long-vexing biblical gesture that follows upon a man's refusal to fulfill his leviratic duty and inseminate a deceased brother's childless widow.