beaver

1
[ bee-ver ]
/ ˈbi vər /

noun, plural bea·vers, (especially collectively) bea·ver for 1.

verb (used without object)

British. to work very hard or industriously at something (usually followed by away).

Nearby words

  1. beaux,
  2. beaux arts,
  3. beaux' stratagem, the,
  4. beaux-arts,
  5. beaux-esprits,
  6. beaver cloth,
  7. beaver dam,
  8. beaver falls,
  9. beaver fever,
  10. beaver state

Origin of beaver

1
before 1000; Middle English bever, Old English beofor, befor; cognate with German Biber, Lithuanian bebrùs, Latin fiber, Sanskrit babhrús reddish brown, large ichneumon

Related formsbea·ver·like, bea·ver·ish, adjective

Usage note

Beaver as a term for a woman is perceived as insulting because it refers to the female in sexual terms. However, in the 1970s, it was CB radio slang, neutral in connotation and even used by women themselves as a term of self-reference.

beaver

2
[ bee-ver ]
/ ˈbi vər /

noun Armor.

a piece of plate armor for covering the lower part of the face and throat, worn especially with an open helmet, as a sallet or basinet.Compare buffe, wrapper(def 7).
a piece of plate armor, pivoted at the sides, forming part of a close helmet below the visor or ventail.

Origin of beaver

2
1400–50; late Middle English bavier, bavour < Middle French baviere (Old French: bib), equivalent to bave spit, dribble + -iere < Latin -āria, feminine of -ārius -ary; alteration of vowel in the initial syllable is unexplained

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

Examples from the Web for beaver


British Dictionary definitions for beaver

beaver

1
/ (ˈbiːvə) /

noun

verb

(intr usually foll by away) to work industriously or steadily

Word Origin for beaver

Old English beofor; compare Old Norse biōrr, Old High German bibar, Latin fiber, Sanskrit babhrú red-brown

noun

a movable piece on a medieval helmet used to protect the lower part of the face

Word Origin for beaver

C15: from Old French baviere, from baver to dribble

Beaver

/ (ˈbiːvə) /

noun

a member of a Beaver Colony, the youngest group of boys (aged 6–8 years) in the Scout Association
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

Word Origin and History for beaver

beaver

n.

Old English beofor, befer (earlier bebr), from Proto-Germanic *bebruz (cf. Old Saxon bibar, Old Norse bjorr, Middle Dutch and Dutch bever, Low German bever, Old High German bibar, German Biber), from PIE *bhebhrus, reduplication of root *bher- (3) "brown, bright" (cf. Lithuanian bebrus, Czech bobr, Welsh befer; see bear (n.) for the likely reason for this). Gynecological sense ("female genitals, especially with a display of pubic hair") is 1927 British slang, transferred from earlier meaning "a bearded man" (1910), from the appearance of split beaver pelts.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with beaver

beaver

see busy as a beaver; eager beaver; work like a beaver.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.