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[beest] /bist/
any nonhuman animal, especially a large, four-footed mammal.
the crude animal nature common to humans and the lower animals:
Hunger brought out the beast in him.
a cruel, coarse, filthy, or otherwise beastlike person.
a live creature, as distinguished from a plant:
What manner of beast is this?
the beast, the Antichrist. Rev. 13:18.
Origin of beast
1175-1225; Middle English be(e)ste < Old French beste (French bête) < Latin bēstia
Related forms
beastlike, adjective
3. cad, swine, pig, brute, savage, ogre, monster, barbarian.
Synonym Study
1. See animal. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for beastlike
Historical Examples
  • The two beastlike wretches groan and strain at their fetters.

    Life on a Mediaeval Barony William Stearns Davis
  • Lifting his sword, he sprang at me with a beastlike scream of rage and hate.

    Montezuma's Daughter H. Rider Haggard
  • In his heavy-lidded eyes, under-hung by watery pouches of sin and dissipation, there was a vengeful and beastlike glare.

    The Hunted Woman James Oliver Curwood
  • Its frightful beak opened and closed, its beastlike talons sought to clutch support, its owl-like eyes became glazed and fixed.

  • There came from him an indescribable reek of tobacco, whisky, filthy clothes, and the beastlike odor of an unclean body.

    A Woman Named Smith

    Marie Conway Oemler
  • There was a beastlike note in his voice that made the short hairs on Kennon's neck prickle.

    The Lani People J. F. Bone
  • All these people, like himself, grown wild and beastlike, were seized by the same dark wave and carried away like rubbish.

    Foma Gordyeff Maxim Gorky
  • It is one of the most beastly of all the beastlike traits in the moral physiognomy of man.


    William Graham Sumner
British Dictionary definitions for beastlike


any animal other than man, esp a large wild quadruped
savage nature or characteristics: the beast in man
a brutal, uncivilized, or filthy person
(transitive) (military slang, slang, mainly Brit) to punish or torture (someone) in a manner that involves excessive physical exercise
Word Origin
C13: from Old French beste, from Latin bestia, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for beastlike



c.1200, from Old French beste "animal, wild beast," figuratively "fool, idiot" (11c., Modern French bête), from Vulgar Latin *besta, from Latin bestia "beast, wild animal," of unknown origin. Used to translate Latin animal. Replaced Old English deor (see deer) as the generic word for "wild creature," only to be ousted 16c. by animal. Of persons felt to be animal-like in various senses from early 13c. Of the figure in the Christian apocalypse story from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for beastlike



  1. A cheap prostitute (esp WWII Armed forces)
  2. (also beastie, beasty) An especially unattractive woman (1940s+ Teenagers)
  3. Any woman whatever, but esp a young, attractive one (1960s+ Jazz musicians)
  4. A crude or sexually aggressive male; animal
  5. Anything regarded as difficult and misbegotten: But that is part of the beast that was created (1860s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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