- any member of the kingdom Animalia, comprising multicellular organisms that have a well-defined shape and usually limited growth, can move voluntarily, actively acquire food and digest it internally, and have sensory and nervous systems that allow them to respond rapidly to stimuli: some classification schemes also include protozoa and certain other single-celled eukaryotes that have motility and animallike nutritional modes.
- any such living thing other than a human being.
- a mammal, as opposed to a fish, bird, etc.
- the physical, sensual, or carnal nature of human beings; animality: the animal in every person.
- an inhuman person; brutish or beastlike person: She married an animal.
- thing: A perfect job? Is there any such animal?
- 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.
Origin of animal
SynonymsSee more synonyms for animal on Thesaurus.com
- zoology any living organism characterized by voluntary movement, the possession of cells with noncellulose cell walls and specialized sense organs enabling rapid response to stimuli, and the ingestion of complex organic substances such as plants and other animalsRelated prefix: zoo-
- any mammal, esp any mammal except man
- a brutish person
- facetious a person or thing (esp in the phrase no such animal)
- Australian informal a very dirty car
- of, relating to, or derived from animalsanimal products; an animal characteristic
- of or relating to the physical needs or desires; carnal; sensual
Word Origin and History for animalian
early 14c. (but rare before c.1600, and not in KJV, 1611), "any living creature" (including humans), from Latin animale "living being, being which breathes," neuter of animalis "animate, living; of the air," from anima "breath, soul; a current of air" (see animus, and cf. deer). Drove out the older beast in common usage. Used of brutish humans from 1580s.
- 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.
- Relating to, characteristic of, or derived from an animal or animals.
- Relating to the physical as distinct from the spiritual nature of humans.
- 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.