From Middle English beef, bef, beof, borrowed from Anglo-Norman beof, Old French buef, boef (“ox”) (modern French: bœuf); from Latin bōs (“ox”). Cognate to bovine.
This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.
- (uncountable) The meat from a cow, bull, or other bovine.
- I love eating beef.
- (in the meat industry, on product packaging) The edible portions of a cow (including those which are not meat).
- (uncountable) Bovine animals.
- 2010 October 21, “Who's the real McCoy? Abilene's Joseph in 8 Wonders contest”, in Abilene Recorder Chronicle:
- However, there were millions of head of beef roaming the plains of Texas.
- (archaic, countable, plural: beeves) A single bovine (cow or bull) being raised for its meat.
- Do you want to raise beeves?
- (by extension, slang, uncountable) Muscle or musculature; size, strength or potency.
- Put some beef into it! We've got to get the car over the bump.
- We've got to get some beef into the enforcement provisions of that law.
- (figuratively, slang, uncountable) Essence, content; the important part of a document or project.
- The beef of his paper was a long rant about government.
- (slang, countable or uncountable, plural: beefs) A grudge; dislike (of something or someone); lack of faith or trust (in something or someone); a reason for a dislike or grudge. (often + with)
- He's got a beef with everyone in the room.
- He's got beef over what you said.
- Remember what happened last fall? That's his beef with me.
- (meat of a cow): veal
- (intransitive) To complain.
- 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter X, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, OCLC 1227855:
- He lost no time in bursting into speech. “Bertie! I've been hunting for you all over the place!” “I was having a chat with Swordfish in his pantry. Something wrong?” “Something wrong!” “Don't you like the Red Room?” “The Red Room!” I gathered from his manner that he had not come to beef about his sleeping accommodation. “Then what is your little trouble?”
- (transitive) To add weight or strength to, usually as beef up.
- Since you stopped running, you are really beefing out.
- (intransitive, slang) To fart; break wind.
- Ugh, who just beefed in here?
- (African American Vernacular, intransitive, slang) To feud or hold a grudge against.
- Those two are beefing right now - best you stay out of it for now.
- (intransitive, chiefly Yorkshire) To cry
- David was beefing last night after Ruth told him off
beef (not comparable)
- Being a bovine animal that is being raised for its meat.
- We bought three beef calves this morning.
- Producing or known for raising lots of beef.
- beef farms
- beef country
- Consisting of or containing beef as an ingredient.
- beef stew
- Alternative form of