Dictionary.com

animal

[ an-uh-muhl ]
/ ˈæn ə məl /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: animal / animals on Thesaurus.com

noun

adjective

of, relating to, or derived from animals: animal instincts; animal fats.
pertaining to the physical, sensual, or carnal nature of humans, rather than their spiritual or intellectual nature: animal needs.

QUIZZES

DO A DOUBLE TAKE ON THIS QUIZ ON CONTRONYMS

Look both ways before you take this quiz on contronyms, or words that can have opposite meanings.
Question 1 of 7
Choose the sentence that uses "rent" correctly.

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of animal

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English (from Old French ), from Latin, noun derivative (with loss of final vowel and shortening of ā) of animāle, neuter of animālis “living, animate,” equivalent to anim(a) “air, breath” + -ālis; English adjective also directly from Latin animālis; see -al1;

synonym study for animal

2. Animal, beast, brute refer to sentient creatures as distinct from minerals and plants; figuratively, they usually connote qualities and characteristics below the human level. Animal is the general word; figuratively, it applies merely to the body or to animal-like characteristics: An athlete is a magnificent animal. Beast refers to four-footed animals; figuratively, it suggests a base, sensual nature: A glutton is a beast. Brute implies absence of ability to reason; figuratively, it connotes savagery as well: a drunken brute. 8. See carnal.

OTHER WORDS FROM animal

an·i·mal·ic [an-uh-mal-ik], /ˌæn əˈmæl ɪk/, an·i·ma·li·an [an-uh-mey-lee-uhn, -meyl-yuhn], /ˌæn əˈmeɪ li ən, -ˈmeɪl yən/, adjectivenon·an·i·mal, noun, adjectivesem·i·an·i·mal, noun, adjectivesu·per·an·i·mal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for animal

British Dictionary definitions for animal

animal
/ (ˈænɪməl) /

noun

adjective

of, relating to, or derived from animalsanimal products; an animal characteristic
of or relating to the physical needs or desires; carnal; sensual

Word Origin for animal

C14: from Latin animal (n), from animālis (adj) living, breathing; see anima
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

Medical definitions for animal

animal
[ ănə-məl ]

n.

A multicellular organism with membranous cell walls of the kingdom Animalia, differing from plants in certain typical characteristics such as capacity for locomotion, nonphotosynthetic metabolism, pronounced response to stimuli, restricted growth, and fixed bodily structure.
An animal organism other than a human, especially a mammal.
A human considered with respect to his or her physical, as opposed to spiritual, nature.

adj.

Relating to, characteristic of, or derived from an animal or animals.
Relating to the physical as distinct from the spiritual nature of humans.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for animal

animal
[ ănə-məl ]

Any of the multicellular organisms belonging to the kingdom Animalia. All animals are eukaryotes, with each of their cells having a nucleus containing DNA. Most animals develop from a blastula and have a digestive tract, nervous system, the ability to move voluntarily, and specialized sensory organs for recognizing and responding to stimuli in the environment. Animals are heterotrophs, feeding on plants, other animals, or organic matter. The first animals probably evolved from protists and appeared during the Precambrian Era.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
FEEDBACK