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5 definitions found
 for leaven
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Leaven \Leav"en\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Leavened; p. pr. & vb.
     n. Leavening.]
     1. To make light by the action of leaven; to cause to
        ferment.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. --1 Cor.
                                                    v. 6.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. To imbue; to infect; to vitiate.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              With these and the like deceivable doctrines, he
              leavens also his prayer.              --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Leaven \Leav"en\, n. [OE. levain, levein, F. levain, L. levamen
     alleviation, mitigation; but taken in the sense of, a
     raising, that which raises, fr. levare to raise. See Lever,
     n.]
     1. Any substance that produces, or is designed to produce,
        fermentation, as in dough or liquids; esp., a portion of
        fermenting dough, which, mixed with a larger quantity of
        dough, produces a general change in the mass, and renders
        it light; yeast; barm.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. Anything which makes a general assimilating (especially a
        corrupting) change in the mass.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is
              hypocrisy.                            --Luke xii. 1.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  leaven
      n 1: a substance used to produce fermentation in dough or a
           liquid [syn: leaven, leavening]
      2: an influence that works subtly to lighten or modify
         something; "his sermons benefited from a leavening of humor"
         [syn: leaven, leavening]
      v 1: cause to puff up with a leaven; "unleavened bread" [syn:
           raise, leaven, prove]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  85 Moby Thesaurus words for "leaven":
     abate, adjust to, agent, alter, alterant, alterative, alterer,
     assuage, bespread, besprinkle, box in, breathe, brew, catalyst,
     catalytic agent, circumscribe, color, condition, crawl with,
     creep with, decoct, diffuse, diminish, dredge, dye, entincture,
     extend throughout, ferment, fermentation, fill, flavor, hedge,
     hedge about, honeycomb, imbrue, imbue, impregnate, infiltrate,
     infuse, innovationist, innovator, instill, introducer,
     leave no void, leavening, limit, mitigate, moderate, modificator,
     modifier, modify, modulate, narrow, occupy, overrun, overspread,
     overswarm, palliate, penetrate, permeate, pervade, precursor,
     qualify, raise, reduce, regulate by, restrain, restrict,
     run through, saturate, season, set conditions, set limits, soften,
     steep, suffuse, swarm with, teem with, temper, tincture, tinge,
     transformer, transfuse, transmogrifier, yeast
  
  

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary :

  Leaven
     (1.) Heb. seor (Ex. 12:15, 19; 13:7; Lev. 2:11), the remnant of
     dough from the preceding baking which had fermented and become
     acid.
     
       (2.) Heb. hamets, properly "ferment." In Num. 6:3, "vinegar of
     wine" is more correctly "fermented wine." In Ex. 13:7, the
     proper rendering would be, "Unfermented things [Heb. matstsoth]
     shall be consumed during the seven days; and there shall not be
     seen with thee fermented things [hamets], and there shall not be
     seen with thee leavened mass [seor] in all thy borders." The
     chemical definition of ferment or yeast is "a substance in a
     state of putrefaction, the atoms of which are in a continual
     motion."
     
       The use of leaven was strictly forbidden in all offerings made
     to the Lord by fire (Lev. 2:11; 7:12; 8:2; Num. 6:15). Its
     secretly penetrating and diffusive power is referred to in 1
     Cor. 5:6. In this respect it is used to illustrate the growth of
     the kingdom of heaven both in the individual heart and in the
     world (Matt. 13:33). It is a figure also of corruptness and of
     perverseness of heart and life (Matt. 16:6, 11; Mark 8:15; 1
     Cor. 5:7, 8).
     

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