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.
- 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/, adjective
- non·an·i·mal, noun, adjective
- sem·i·an·i·mal, noun, adjective
- su·per·an·i·mal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use animal in a sentence
They are impressive animals, solitary hunters blessed with incredible power and athleticism.
As a result, many plants and animals have evolved innovative ways to avoid inbreeding.Mongooses, Meerkats, and Ants, Oh My! Why Some Animals Keep Mating All in the Family | Helen Thompson | December 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It treats touchscreens and TV programs as just one more way to introduce toddlers to animals, colors, and other concepts.Yes, Your Toddler Can Watch TV: The New Rules for Screen Time | Russell Saunders | December 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Will these resurrected animals be house-trained and know to exit the pearly gates before doing their business?Sorry, Internet: Pope Francis Didn't Open Paradise to Pets | Candida Moss | December 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Product placement aside, the idea that animals go to heaven raises a whole host of interesting questions for Thea and Noah.Sorry, Internet: Pope Francis Didn't Open Paradise to Pets | Candida Moss | December 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The same outpourings of affection are seen in the dealings of children with their toy babies and animals.Children's Ways | James Sully
Very charmingly is this respect for rule exhibited in all dealings with animals, also dolls and other pets.Children's Ways | James Sully
Beginning with single twigs and working over them patiently she at length painted whole trees, and later animals.Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D. | Clara Erskine Clement
The wave-like movement of these animals is particularly graceful and cleverly done.Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D. | Clara Erskine Clement
Robinson looked at him suspiciously as he took it, and the animals eyed him with evident distrust.Davy and The Goblin | Charles E. Carryl
British Dictionary definitions for animal
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 animals: Related 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 animals: animal products; an animal characteristic
of or relating to the physical needs or desires; carnal; sensual
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
Scientific definitions for animal
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.