View synonyms for beef


[ beef ]


, plural beeves [beevz] beefs
  1. the flesh of a cow, steer, or bull raised and killed for its meat.
  2. an adult cow, steer, or bull raised for its meat.
  3. Informal.
    1. brawn; muscular strength.
    2. strength; power.
    3. weight, as of a person.
    4. human flesh.
  4. Slang.
    1. a complaint.
    2. an argument or dispute.

verb (used without object)

  1. Slang. to complain; grumble.

verb phrase

    1. to add strength, numbers, force, etc., to; strengthen:

      During the riots, the nighttime patrol force was beefed up with volunteers.

    2. to increase or add to:

      to beef up our fringe benefits.


/ biːf /


  1. the flesh of various bovine animals, esp the cow, when killed for eating
  2. beevesbiːvz an adult ox, bull, cow, etc, reared for its meat
  3. informal.
    human flesh, esp when muscular
  4. beefs a complaint


  1. slang.
    intr to complain, esp repeatedly

    he was beefing about his tax

  2. informal.
    troften foll byup to strengthen; reinforce
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Other Words From

  • beefless adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of beef1

First recorded in 1250–1300; 1885–90 beef fordef 5; Middle English, from Anglo-French beof, Old French boef, from Latin bov- (stem of bōs ) “ox, cow”; akin to cow 1
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Word History and Origins

Origin of beef1

C13: from Old French boef , from Latin bōs ox; see cow 1
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Idioms and Phrases

In addition to the idiom beginning with beef , also see where's the beef .
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Example Sentences

Thanks to ranching techniques used by The Perennial’s suppliers, one pound of beef is offset by 45 pounds of carbon sequestered in the soil.

Everything from lumber, coins, ammo, beef, to medical supplies has been affected.

From Fortune

This is the biggest issue with lab-grown meat, whether beef, pork, or fish—it’s difficult and costly to scale up its production.

McGunagle will jump out of the plane carrying supplies that include drinking water, food like beef jerky or peanut butter, solution for his contact lenses, and a pound of coffee.

Other biotech techniques hope to improve the beef industry without displacing it.

They became so brown and shriveled that they looked like walking beef jerky with New York accents.

Her first celebrity beef began when Snoop Dogg started Instagramming some pretty vile things about her, seemingly unprovoked.

Champagne, which is also acidic, offers a nice complement to anything from tuna tartare to beef bourguignon.

Veselka layered its latke with pork goulash, and Toloache added beef short rib chorizo.

The freezer is filled with meat, sides of beef and large pieces of lamb.

While this was being done, Ramona would dry the beef which would be their supply of meat for many months.

At last, a sirloin of beef was set before him, on which his empty stomach made him feed voraciously.

She's too old for beef, or the butcher would; and she makes out to get her livin' without botherin' nobody much.

The ship's company were supplied daily with fresh beef and vegetables.

Stuffing their crackers and dried beef into their pockets, they ran out of the house and to their machines.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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