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[bes-chee-er-ee, bees-] /ˈbɛs tʃiˌɛr i, ˈbis-/
noun, plural bestiaries.
a collection of moralized fables, especially as written in the Middle Ages, about actual or mythical animals.
Origin of bestiary
1615-25; < Medieval Latin bēstiārium, neuter of Latin bēstiārius. See beast, -ary
Related forms
[bes-chee-er-ist, -cher-, bees-] /ˈbɛs tʃi ər ɪst, -tʃər-, ˈbis-/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for bestiary


noun (pl) -aries
a moralizing medieval collection of descriptions (and often illustrations) of real and mythical animals
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 bestiary

"medieval treatise on beasts" usually with moralistic overtones, 1818, from Medieval Latin bestiarium "a menagerie," also "a book about animals", from bestia (see beast). A Latin term for such works was liber de bestiis compositus. Roman bestiarius meant "a fighter against beasts in the public entertainments."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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