animal

[ an-uh-muhl ]
/ ˈæn ə məl /

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.

Origin of animal

1300–50; Middle English (< Old French) < 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 -al1; E adj. also directly < Latin animālis

SYNONYMS FOR animal

Related forms

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

Synonym study

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for animalian

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

Medicine definitions for animalian

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.

Science definitions for animalian

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.