- a yeoman of the English royal guard or a warder of the Tower of London.
- Informal. an Englishman.
- a person who eats beef.
Origin of beefeater
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for beefeater
Historical Examples of beefeater
- a nickname often applied to the Yeomen of the Guard and the Yeomen Warders at the Tower of London
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
"warder of the Tower of London," 1670s, a contemptuous reference to well-fed servants of the royal household; the notion is of "one who eats another's beef" (cf. Old English hlaf-æta "servant," literally "loaf-eater").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper