[lev-er-it, -uh-reyt, lee-ver-it, -vuh-reyt] /ˈlɛv ər ɪt, -əˌreɪt, ˈli vər ɪt, -vəˌreɪt/

the custom of marriage by a man with his brother’s widow, such marriage required in Biblical law if the deceased was childless. Deut. 25:5–10.
the practice, required by Old Testament law, of marrying the widow of one’s brother

custom by which the male next-of-kin of a dead man was bound to marry his widow, 1725, from Latin levir “brother-in-law” (from PIE *daiwer- “husband’s brother”) + -ate (2).


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