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beetle

1
[ beet-l ]
/ ˈbit l /
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See synonyms for: beetle / beetled / beetles / beetling on Thesaurus.com

noun
any of numerous insects of the order Coleoptera, characterized by hard, horny forewings that cover and protect the membranous flight wings.
(loosely) any of various insects resembling the beetle, as a cockroach.
verb (used without object), bee·tled, bee·tling.
Chiefly British. to move quickly; scurry: He beetled off to catch the train.
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Origin of beetle

1
First recorded before 900; late Middle English bit(t)il, betylle, bityl, Old English bitel(a), betl, derivative of bītan bite

Other definitions for beetle (2 of 3)

beetle2
[ beet-l ]
/ ˈbit l /

noun
a heavy hammering or ramming instrument, usually of wood, used to drive wedges, force down paving stones, compress loose earth, etc.
any of various wooden instruments for beating linen, mashing potatoes, etc.
verb (used with object), bee·tled, bee·tling.
to use a beetle on; drive, ram, beat, or crush with a beetle.
to finish (cloth) with a beetling machine.

Origin of beetle

2
First recorded before 900; Middle English betel, bitille “mallet, hammer,” Old English bītel, bētel, bȳtel (cognate with Middle Low German bētel “chisel”), derivative of bē(a)tan beat

OTHER WORDS FROM beetle

beetler, noun

Other definitions for beetle (3 of 3)

beetle3
[ beet-l ]
/ ˈbit l /

adjective
projecting; overhanging: beetle brows.
verb (used without object), bee·tled, bee·tling.
to project; jut out; overhang: a cliff that beetles over the sea; his mustache and beetling brows; thick eyebrows beetling over blue eyes.
to hang or tower over in a threatening or menacing manner: The prospect of bankruptcy beetled over him.

Origin of beetle

3
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English; back formation from beetle-browed
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use beetle in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for beetle (1 of 3)

beetle1
/ (ˈbiːtəl) /

noun
any insect of the order Coleoptera, having biting mouthparts and forewings modified to form shell-like protective elytraRelated adjective: coleopteran
a game played with dice in which the players draw or assemble a beetle-shaped form
verb (intr ; foll by along, off, etc)
informal to scuttle or scurry; hurry

Word Origin for beetle

Old English bitela; related to bitol teeth, bit, bītan to bite

British Dictionary definitions for beetle (2 of 3)

beetle2
/ (ˈbiːtəl) /

noun
a heavy hand tool, usually made of wood, used for ramming, pounding, or beating
a machine used to finish cloth by stamping it with wooden hammers
verb (tr)
to beat or pound with a beetle
to finish (cloth) by means of a beetle

Word Origin for beetle

Old English bīetel, from bēatan to beat; related to Middle Low German bētel chisel, Old Norse beytill penis

British Dictionary definitions for beetle (3 of 3)

beetle3
/ (ˈbiːtəl) /

verb
(intr) to overhang; jut
adjective
overhanging; prominent

Derived forms of beetle

beetling, adjective

Word Origin for beetle

C14: perhaps related to beetle 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
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