- An insect of an order distinguished by forewings typically modified into hard wing cases (elytra) that cover and protect the hind wings and abdomen.
More example sentences
- Order Coleoptera: see Coleoptera
- Among all the insects only beetles have these specialized fore-wings.
- A variety of insects, including some beetles and moths, mimic bees and wasps.
- It turns out that only some male horned scarab beetles grow long horns and battle for mates.
verb[no object] • informal Back to top
- Make one’s way hurriedly or with short, quick steps: the tourist beetled offMore example sentences
- Between us, we put everything away, the Engineer and his missus beetled off amid cheery cries of ‘No problem’, and I staggered off, cat securely clutched in arms, in search of gin.
- And off he beetled to the back room he set up a couple of days ago, with a clean workbench and a worklight just right for the assembly of electronic components.
- And, besides, it gave Graham a place to hide while I beetled over to the display of windchimes and began to put them through their paces.
Old English bitula, bitela 'biter', from the base of bītan 'to bite'.
- 1A tool with a heavy head and a handle, used for tasks such as ramming, crushing, and driving wedges; a maul.More example sentences
- Champ was prepared especially for the festival of Hallowe'en when large quantities of potatoes were pounded with a cylindrical wooden implement called a beetle.
- 1.1A machine used for heightening the luster of cloth by pressure from rollers.More example sentences
- It worked perfectly - intensity of light was controlled by pressure on the beetle!
- Depending on the beetle pressure in a stand and individual susceptibility of baited trees, attacks may range from unsuccessful or no attack, to successfully mass attacked.
verb[with object] Back to top
- 1.1Finish (cloth) with a beetle.More example sentences
- From sowing to pulling, retting to rippling, spinning to weaving, beetling to bleaching, a long, exhausting and sometimes dangerous business made a cloth so precious it was put under armed guard and cost thieves their lives.
Old English bētel, of Germanic origin; related to beat.
verb[no object] (usually as adjective beetling)
- (Of a person’s eyebrows) project or overhang threateningly: piercing eyes glittered beneath a great beetling browMore example sentences
- He glared forbiddingly, his eyebrows beetling together like two fuzzy caterpillars were mating on his forehead.
- And then he began pounding on the table like Kruschev, his eyebrows beetling furiously.
- His eyebrows beetled, and he slipped into a deep sleep, with the music of Total Package playing in his ears.
adjective[attributive] Back to top
- (Of a person’s eyebrows) shaggy and projecting.More example sentences
- He furrows his beetle brows and fixes his stare on the turf in front, indifferent to the periphery.
- Beneath the beetle brow and the thinning combover, however, lurked a singular songwriting talent.
- He turned towards her; his eyes flashing under his beetling eyebrows.
- More example sentences
- It's as insular as the most beetle-browed peasant in a village on a Russian steppe in the 12 th century.
- We were an ambulatory species, and had been so ever since our beetle-browed ancestors first strode off to hunt and gather.
- At such moments, you wonder how she ended up playing such a beetle-browed old cynic as Mel.
mid 16th century (as an adjective): back-formation from beetle-browed. The verb was apparently used as a nonce word by Shakespeare and was later adopted by other writers.