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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English beestely, bestely, beastliche, equivalne to beast +‎ -ly. Compare Dutch beestachtig (beastly), German biestig (beastly).

AdjectiveEdit

beastly (comparative beastlier or more beastly, superlative beastliest or most beastly)

  1. (Britain) Pertaining to, or having the form, nature, or habits of, a beast.
  2. (Britain) Characterizing the nature of a beast; contrary to the nature and dignity of man; brutal; filthy.
  3. (Britain, dated) Abominable.
    beastly weather

Usage notesEdit

Most often used pejoratively. Bestial is more narrow, though also often used pejoratively.

SynonymsEdit

TranslationsEdit

AdverbEdit

beastly (comparative more beastly, superlative most beastly)

  1. Like a beast; brutishly.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.8:
      Beastly he threwe her downe, ne car'd to spill / Her garments gay with scales of fish that all did fill.
    • 1901, The Literary World - Volume 63 - Page 35:
      They have insulted me most beastly. Moreover, they are, everyone of them, black-satan filthmen.
    • 1955, Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita:
      The baths were mostly tiled showers, with an endless variety of spouting mechanisms, but with one definitely non-Laodicean characteristic in common, a propensity, while in use, to turn instantly beastly hot or blindingly cold upon you, depending on whether your neighbor turned on his cold or his hot to deprive you of a necessary complement in the shower you had so carefully blended.