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See also: Levin



From Middle English levene; earlier etymology less clear. Thought to be ultimately from *lewk-. Possibly a Scandinavian loan.



levin (plural levins)

  1. (archaic) Lightning; a bolt of lightning; also, a bright flame or light.
    • c1280, Anonymous, “Godrich Displays Great Prowess”, in Frederic Madden, editor, The Lay of Havelok the Dane[1], London: N. Trübner & Company, published 1868, line 2690, page 76:
      And forth rith al so leuin fares.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.5:
      neither blood in face nor life in hart / It left, but both did quite drye up and blast; / As piercing levin, which the inner part / Of every thing consumes, and calcineth by art.
    • 1847, Charlotte Brontë, Currer Bell, editor, Jane Eyre: An Autobiography[2], volume 1, Leipzig, published 1848, page ix:
      I cannot tell; but I think if some of those amongst whom he hurls the Greek fire of his sarcasm, and over whom he flashes the levin-brand of his denunciation, were to take his warnings in time — they or their seed might escape a fatal Ramoth-Gilead.