There are 3 definitions of beetle in English:

beetle1

Line breaks: bee¦tle
Pronunciation: /ˈbiːt(ə)l
 
/

noun

1An insect of a large order distinguished by having forewings that are typically modified into hard wing cases (elytra), which cover and protect the hindwings and abdomen.
More example sentences
  • 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.
Synonyms
winged insect
technical coleopteran
2 [mass noun] British A dice game in which a picture of a beetle is drawn or assembled.
More example sentences
  • Take turns to roll the dice and gradually build your beetle (you must start with the body).
  • In the old days, we used to meet weekly and ran bingo and beetle drives to raise money.
  • Winnie said she remembered shows being suspended during the Second World Ward and members held a number of whist and beetle drives to keep the group together - and also put together packages for the boys on the front line.

verb

[no object, with adverbial of direction] informal Back to top  
Make one’s way hurriedly: the tourist beetled off
More 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.
Synonyms

Origin

Old English bitula, bitela 'biter', from the base of bītan 'to bite'.

Definition of beetle in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day flippant
Pronunciation: ˈflɪp(ə)nt
adjective
not showing a serious or respectful attitude

There are 3 definitions of beetle in English:

beetle2

Line breaks: bee¦tle
Pronunciation: /ˈbiːt(ə)l
 
/

noun

1A very heavy mallet, typically with a wooden head, used for ramming, crushing, etc.
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.
2A machine used for heightening the lustre 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  
1Ram or crush with a beetle: she stood in a shed, beetling grain for the fowl
2Finish (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.

Origin

Old English bētel, of Germanic origin; related to beat.

Definition of beetle in:

There are 3 definitions of beetle in English:

beetle3

Line breaks: bee¦tle
Pronunciation: /ˈbiːt(ə)l
 
/

verb

[no object] (usually as adjective beetling)
(Of a rock or a person’s eyebrows) project or overhang: his eyebrows beetled with irritation
More 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.
Synonyms

adjective

[attributive] Back to top  
(Of a person’s eyebrows) shaggy and projecting: thick beetle brows
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.

Origin

mid 16th century (as an adjective): back-formation from beetle-browed, first recorded in Middle English. The verb was apparently used as a nonce word by Shakespeare and was later adopted by other writers.

Derivatives

beetle-browed

adjective
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.

Definition of beetle in: