See also: Beast and BEAST

English edit

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Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English beeste, beste, from Old French beste (French bête), from Latin bēstia (animal, beast); many cognates – see bēstia.

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /biːst/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːst

Noun edit

beast (plural beasts)

  1. An animal, especially a large or dangerous land vertebrate.
    • 1611, “Leviticus 11:3”, in King James Version[1]:
      Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.
    1. (chiefly in Commonwealth English, more specifically) A domestic animal, especially a bovine farm animal.
      • 1908 September 21, “The fattening beast”, in Mark Lane Express Agricultural Journal[2], page 340:
        [] it always had the making of a fine beast about it, but up to the time I had it up here in a stall by itself it did not get the chance to make any headway [ie, fatten], all its mates were down on it and it never seemed to fill itself. [] A big framed beast takes a lot of food — expensive food at that [—] to keep it doing []
      • 1943 November – 1944 February (date written; published 1945 August 17), George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], Animal Farm [], London: Secker & Warburg, published May 1962, →OCLC:
        Boxer was an enormous beast, nearly eighteen hands high, and as strong as any two ordinary horses put together.
      • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 7, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC:
        ‘Children crawled over each other like little grey worms in the gutters,’ he said. ‘The only red things about them were their buttocks and they were raw. Their faces looked as if snails had slimed on them and their mothers were like great sick beasts whose byres had never been cleared. []
    2. (often collective) All non-human animals seen as a group.
      Language is what separates man and beast.
    3. A monstrously unusual and dangerous animal.
      Synonym: monster
  2. A person who behaves in a violent, antisocial or uncivilized manner.
  3. (slang) Anything regarded as larger or more powerful than one of its normal size or strength.
    That is a beast of a stadium.
    The subwoofer that comes with this set of speakers is a beast.
  4. (slang) Someone who is particularly impressive, especially athletically or physically.
  5. (prison slang, derogatory) A sex offender.
    • 1994, Elaine Player, Michael Jenkins, Prisons After Woolf: Reform Through Riot, page 190:
      Shouts had been heard: 'We're coming to kill you, beasts.' In desperation, Rule 43s had tried to barricade their doors []
    • 1994, Adam Sampson, Acts of Abuse: Sex Offenders And the Criminal Justice System, page 83:
      For many prisoners and in many prisons, antipathy towards 'nonces' or 'beasts' is little more than an idea []
  6. (figuratively) Something unpleasant and difficult.
    • 2000, Tom Clancy, The Bear and the Dragon, Berkley, published 2001, →ISBN, page 905:
      [] Even unopposed, the natural obstacles are formidable, and defending his line of advance will be a beast of a problem."
    • 2006, Heather Burt, Adam's Peak, Dundurn Press, published 2006, →ISBN, page 114:
      He'd be in the hospital a few days — broken collarbone, a cast on his arm, a beast of a headache — but fine.
  7. A thing or matter, especially a difficult or unruly one.
    • 2003, John Derbyshire, Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problems in Mathematics[3]:
      Now, the nucleus of a heavy element is a very peculiar beast.
    • 2010, Rob Chapman, A Very Irregular Head: The Life of Syd Barrett[4], page 65:
      'Lucy Leave', also known as 'Lucy Lea in Blue Tights', is a stranger beast altogether. Musically it is as derivative as everything else the band was playing at this time
    • 2012, Kylee Swenson Gordon, Electronic Musician Presents the Recording Secrets Behind 50 Great Albums[5]:
      But Wasting Light, recorded analog to tape (API 1608 32track, two Studer 827s) with no computers, not even to mix or master, is an entirely different beast.
    • 2017, Riley Sager, Final Girls[6], page 141:
      Murder is a stranger beast than suicide, although the end result of both is the same.

Hyponyms edit

Derived terms edit

terms derived from beast (noun)

Related terms edit

terms related to beast (noun)

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also edit

Verb edit

beast (third-person singular simple present beasts, present participle beasting, simple past and past participle beasted)

  1. (British, military) to impose arduous exercises, either as training or as punishment.
  2. (Scotland, slang) to engage in sexual intercourse, particularly in an illicit context
    That teacher is under investigation for beasting wee 'uns.

Adjective edit

beast (comparative more beast, superlative most beast)

  1. (slang, chiefly Midwestern and northeastern US) great; excellent; powerful
    • 1999, Jason Chue, “AMD K6-2 350mhz, FIC VA503+, LGS 64mb PC100 sdram”, in jaring.pcbase (Usenet):
      There is another type from Siemens which is the HYB 39S64XXX(AT/ATL) -8B version (notice the "B" and the end) which is totally beast altogether.
    • 2012, Katie McGarry, Pushing the Limits, page 37:
      Translation: a piece of crap, but the rest of the car was totally beast.

Anagrams edit

Middle English edit

Noun edit


  1. Alternative form of beeste

Yola edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English beeste (livestock), from Old French beste, from Latin bestia.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

beast (plural beasthès or beasthes)

  1. beast
      Hornta beast.
      A horned beast.

References edit

  • Jacob Poole (d. 1827) (before 1828) William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, published 1867, page 47