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A chunk of beef.

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.



beef (countable and uncountable, plural beef or beefs or beeves)

  1. (uncountable) The meat from a cow, bull, or other bovine.
    I love eating beef.
    1. (in the meat industry, on product packaging) The edible portions of a cow (including those which are not meat).
      lean finely textured beef
      boneless lean beef trimmings
    2. (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.
    3. (archaic, countable, plural: beeves) A single bovine (cow or bull) being raised for its meat.
      Do you want to raise beeves?
    4. (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.
    5. (figuratively, slang, uncountable) Essence, content; the important part of a document or project.
      The beef of his paper was a long rant about government.
  2. (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

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beef (third-person singular simple present beefs, present participle beefing, simple past and past participle beefed)

  1. (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?”
  2. (transitive) To add weight or strength to, usually as beef up.
    Since you stopped running, you are really beefing out.
  3. (intransitive, slang) To fart; break wind.
    Ugh, who just beefed in here?
  4. (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.
  5. (intransitive, chiefly Yorkshire) To cry
    David was beefing last night after Ruth told him off

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beef (not comparable)

  1. Being a bovine animal that is being raised for its meat.
    We bought three beef calves this morning.
  2. Producing or known for raising lots of beef.
    beef farms
    beef country
  3. Consisting of or containing beef as an ingredient.
    beef stew

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beef (present beef, present participle bewende, past participle gebeef)

  1. Alternative form of bewe





  1. first-person singular present indicative of beven
  2. imperative of beven