- the flesh of a cow, steer, or bull raised and killed for its meat.
- an adult cow, steer, or bull raised for its meat.
- brawn; muscular strength.
- strength; power.
- weight, as of a person.
- human flesh.
- a complaint.
- an argument or dispute.
- Slang. to complain; grumble.
- beef up,
- to add strength, numbers, force, etc., to; strengthen: During the riots, the nighttime patrol force was beefed up with volunteers.
- to increase or add to: to beef up our fringe benefits.
Origin of beef
Examples from the Web for beef
Champagne, which is also acidic, offers a nice complement to anything from tuna tartare to beef bourguignon.Champagne: You’re Drinking It All Wrong
December 20, 2014
The freezer is filled with meat, sides of beef and large pieces of lamb.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
The beef began three days ago, when Snoop posted an unflattering Iggy meme to his Instagram.Who Dat, Who Dat? It’s Snoop Dogg Saying Misogynistic Things to I-G-G-Y
October 15, 2014
My beef is not with Jolie, whom I congratulate on her work, and admire as human being simply trying to do a little bit of good.WTF Is Damgelina Doing At The Palace?
October 11, 2014
This is also a show that decided that in order to get better it needed to beef up its female presence.It’s OK to Like ‘The Big Bang Theory’
September 23, 2014
A roast of beef meant a visit, in Dr. Ed's modest-paying clientele.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Falling in with an American in the Bay of Biscay, we got a barrel of beef which lasted us in.
We were out of pork and beef, and our fire-wood was nearly gone.
Come, man, you must be as hungry as a hawk—a slice of the beef?Night and Morning, Complete
In carving a round of beef, slice it horizontally and very thin.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
- the flesh of various bovine animals, esp the cow, when killed for eating
- plural beeves (biːvz) an adult ox, bull, cow, etc, reared for its meat
- informal human flesh, esp when muscular
- plural beefs a complaint
- (intr) slang to complain, esp repeatedlyhe was beefing about his tax
- (tr often foll by up) informal to strengthen; reinforce
Word Origin and History for beef
c.1300, from Old French buef "ox; beef; ox hide" (11c., Modern French boeuf), from Latin bovem (nominative bos, genitive bovis) "ox, cow," from PIE root *gwou- "cow, ox, bull" (see cow (n.)). Original plural was beeves.
"to complain," slang, 1888, American English, from noun meaning "complaint" (1880s). The noun meaning "argument" is recorded from 1930s. The origin and signification are unclear; perhaps it traces to the common late 19c. complaint of U.S. soldiers about the quantity or quality of beef rations.