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Line breaks: beast
Pronunciation: /biːst

Definition of beast in English:


1An animal, especially a large or dangerous four-footed one: a wild beast
More example sentences
  • These cunning warriors are trained from birth to hunt, track and trap the most dangerous beasts in the wild.
  • On landing, the astronaut ‘will be able to deal with wild beasts, sharks and other dangerous animals or enemies’, the website reported.
  • In Dawson, White Fang becomes an attraction, and people come to see the wild beast in the cage.
1.1 (usually beasts) A domestic animal, especially a bovine farm animal: mucking out and feeding the beasts is a big job
More example sentences
  • A few years ago he'd often spot the wooly beasts on a neighbouring farm with huge sores on their backsides, weak and hardly able to stand.
  • Under the fire of the sun, the world became green, the crops grew tall and strong, and the beasts of farm and field have grown fat and strong.
  • The huge antler spikes were within a few yards of her, and in a flash of numbing fear she remembered Mortimer's warning, to beware of horned beasts on the farm.
North American informal critter
1.2 archaic or humorous An animal as opposed to a human: the gift of reason differentiates humanity from the beasts
More example sentences
  • If that was true, then these business people must be beasts in human form!
  • According to him, the second category of people, which did not contribute to science and knowledge, are more like beasts than human beings.
  • For Overton the line between human and beasts was rather unclear.
1.3An inhumanly cruel, violent, or depraved person: he is a filthy drunken beast sex beasts who are assaulting victims
More example sentences
  • I have been the cruelest of beasts, lying to you and all.
  • I also have nothing but praise for the police and law enforcement team - they did a great job and I am glad we have more tools such as DNA testing for catching and convicting sex beasts.
  • That sentence was increased after the intervention of the Home Secretary, who instead insisted on a whole life tariff for the sex beast.
1.4 informal An objectionable or unpleasant person or thing: a scheming, manipulative little beast
More example sentences
  • He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.
  • Ringing in his ears will be his father's warning ‘not to make a beast of yourself’.
  • Where a beautiful, intelligent young woman once stood was a beast of death and heartlessness.
1.5 (the beast) A person’s brutish or untamed characteristics: the beast in you is rearing its ugly head
More example sentences
  • She brings out the beast in men (The Corsair howls at the moon).
  • This is why I shouldn't stop blogging, even if it brings out the beast in me.
  • Blasting up sand hills on roaring machinery brings out the beast in even the sweetest ladies.
1.6 [with adjective] informal A thing possessing a specified quality: that much-maligned beast, the rave record
More example sentences
  • He still had a mysterious air about him and I was afraid of the possessive beast that lurked just below the surface.
  • Unknown to the vast majority of urban-dwelling Scots, this magnificent beast is the subject of one of the most bitter controversies ever to affect wildlife in this country.
  • But he was able to make an incredible impact through the sheer force of his intellect, which made him - even on the backbenches - a big political beast.


Middle English: from Old French beste, based on Latin bestia.



Example sentences
  • In the late '50s, his paintings became populated with stumpy, beastlike figures, often adorned with military medals.
  • The man uttered a guttural, beastlike sound.
  • That is how the horned god came to be seen as the devil: a beastlike figure used by early Christians to engender fear of nature religions.

Definition of beast in:

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