[ beef ]
/ bif /
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noun, plural beeves [beevz] /bivz/ for 2; beefs for 4.
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.
verb (used without object)
Slang. to complain; grumble.
- 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.
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Origin of beef
First recorded in 1250–1300; 1885–90 for def. 5; Middle English, from Anglo-French beof, Old French boef, from Latin bov- (stem of bōs ) “ox, cow”; akin to cow1
OTHER WORDS FROM beefbeefless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use beef in a sentence
Sometimes one financial firm competes against another, replaying Wall Street beefs perhaps.Bros Love Dragon Boats|Daniel Genis|August 10, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Later the Cherokee Indians changed the council fire into a barbecue, where they roasted whole beefs in pits of glowing coals.The Book of Camp-Lore and Woodcraft|Dan Beard
When your Beefs-guts are seasoned, fit them up and boil them.The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened|Kenelm Digby
Fillet of Beefs: Cut across diagonally, beginning at thick end.How to Prepare and Serve a Meal and Interior Decoration|Lillian B. Lansdown
But the best dish was a beefs head cooked by friend Minter in Texas fashion.The Life of Isaac Ingalls Stevens, Volume I (of 2)|Hazard Stevens
Away and ever away to the south, for the hated "Beefs" were after them, coming down relentlessly from the north.Sketches of the East Africa Campaign|Robert Valentine Dolbey
British Dictionary definitions for beef
/ (biːf) /
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 for beef
C13: from Old French boef, from Latin bōs ox; see cow 1
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with beef
In addition to the idiom beginning with beef
- beef up
- where's the beef
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.