Share this entry

Share this page

bestial

Line breaks: bes|tial
Pronunciation: /ˈbɛstɪəl
 
/

Definition of bestial in English:

adjective

1Of or like an animal or animals: Darwin’s revelations about our bestial beginnings
More example sentences
  • The werewolf shows that either humans can temporarily lose conscience and become animal or that bestial wildness is part of conscience itself.
  • It is always convenient to regard foreign populations as inferior, more convenient still to regard them as animalistic, or bestial, especially when you have decided to enslave or eliminate them.
  • Some seventeenth-century theriophilists replied that bestial lack of reason was not a curse, while others denied that animals lack reason.
Synonyms
1.1Savagely cruel and depraved: bestial and barbaric acts
More example sentences
  • Simultaneously marked by its bestial savagery and spiritual transcendence, the primitive other is made to coalesce the physical with the metaphysical.
  • The velocity and ferocity of some of the attack moves that zoom around the arena are truly bestial in their utter savagery.
  • No matter how cruel and bestial Caroline could be, he always found a better side of her to ponder upon.
Synonyms
savage, brutish, brutal, barbarous, barbaric, cruel, vicious, violent, inhuman, subhuman;
depraved, degenerate, unnatural, perverted, corrupt, immoral, amoral, warped, vile, gross, sordid;

Origin

late Middle English: via Old French from late Latin bestialis, from Latin bestia 'beast'.

Derivatives

bestialize

1
(also bestialise) verb
Example sentences
  • They have become bestialized, who do not see that all beauty, all human beauty, lies in this quality of mind.
  • It seems that 37 years as occupiers have bestialised our society and left it bereft even of common decency.
  • At a meeting of Britain's leading scientists, critics attack Darwin's theory for bestializing humankind.

bestially

2
adverb
Example sentences
  • There's also some bestially played guitar and sawed-off fiddling ’, strangled cascades of notes that goes well with the loosely tethered drumming.
  • The serpent, the most subtle beast of the field… Who made it to be like that, a bestial part of the body able to understand bestially and desire bestially?
  • He saw the corpse and his eyes bulged horrifically before he crashed to his knees, sprawled out bestially on all fours and vomited all over the corpse.

Words that rhyme with bestial

celestial

Definition of bestial in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something