There are 3 main definitions of beetle in English:

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beetle1

Syllabification: bee·tle
Pronunciation: /ˈbēdl
 
/

noun

An insect of an order distinguished by forewings typically modified into hard wing cases (elytra) that cover and protect the hind wings and abdomen.
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.

verb

[no object] informal Back to top  
Make one’s way hurriedly or with short, quick steps: 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.

Origin

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

More
  • The meaning of the source word for this creature is ‘biter’, and it is closely related to bite. The other word beetle, ‘a heavy mallet’, is unrelated. It comes ultimately from the ancestor of beat, ‘to strike’. The Beetle is an affectionate name for a type of small Volkswagen car that was first produced in 1938. The term started as a nickname, and was not officially adopted by the company until the 1960s. A review of the car in Motor magazine during 1946 said: ‘It has the civilian saloon body on the military chassis with the higher ground clearance, and it looks rather like a beetle on stilts.’ Beetle-browed means ‘having bushy eyebrows’. In Middle English brow was always an eyebrow and not the forehead; it has been suggested that the comparison is with the tufted antennae of certain beetles, which may have been called eyebrows in both English and French.

Words that rhyme with beetle

betel, chital, decretal, fetal

Definition of beetle in:

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There are 3 main definitions of beetle in English:

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beetle2

Syllabification: bee·tle
Pronunciation: /ˈbēdl
 
/

noun

1A tool with a heavy head and a handle, used for tasks such as ramming, crushing, and driving wedges; a maul.
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.
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, crush, or drive with a beetle.
1.1Finish (cloth) with a beetle.
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.

More
  • The meaning of the source word for this creature is ‘biter’, and it is closely related to bite. The other word beetle, ‘a heavy mallet’, is unrelated. It comes ultimately from the ancestor of beat, ‘to strike’. The Beetle is an affectionate name for a type of small Volkswagen car that was first produced in 1938. The term started as a nickname, and was not officially adopted by the company until the 1960s. A review of the car in Motor magazine during 1946 said: ‘It has the civilian saloon body on the military chassis with the higher ground clearance, and it looks rather like a beetle on stilts.’ Beetle-browed means ‘having bushy eyebrows’. In Middle English brow was always an eyebrow and not the forehead; it has been suggested that the comparison is with the tufted antennae of certain beetles, which may have been called eyebrows in both English and French.

Definition of beetle in:

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There are 3 main definitions of beetle in English:

Share this entry

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beetle3

Syllabification: bee·tle
Pronunciation: /ˈbēdl
 
/

verb

[no object] (usually as adjective beetling)
(Of a person’s eyebrows) project or overhang threateningly: piercing eyes glittered beneath a great beetling brow
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.

adjective

[attributive] Back to top  
(Of a person’s eyebrows) shaggy and projecting.
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. The verb was apparently used as a nonce word by Shakespeare and was later adopted by other writers.

More
  • The meaning of the source word for this creature is ‘biter’, and it is closely related to bite. The other word beetle, ‘a heavy mallet’, is unrelated. It comes ultimately from the ancestor of beat, ‘to strike’. The Beetle is an affectionate name for a type of small Volkswagen car that was first produced in 1938. The term started as a nickname, and was not officially adopted by the company until the 1960s. A review of the car in Motor magazine during 1946 said: ‘It has the civilian saloon body on the military chassis with the higher ground clearance, and it looks rather like a beetle on stilts.’ Beetle-browed means ‘having bushy eyebrows’. In Middle English brow was always an eyebrow and not the forehead; it has been suggested that the comparison is with the tufted antennae of certain beetles, which may have been called eyebrows in both English and French.

Derivatives

beetle-browed

1
adjective
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:

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