beetle

1
[ beet-l ]
/ ˈbit l /

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.

Nearby words

  1. beet sugar,
  2. beetfly,
  3. beethoven,
  4. beethoven, ludwig van,
  5. beethovian,
  6. beetle drive,
  7. beetle-browed,
  8. beetlebung,
  9. beetlehead,
  10. beetleweed

Origin of beetle

1
before 900; late Middle English betylle, bityl, Old English bitela (bitel- biting (bit- bite + -el adj. suffix) + -a noun suffix)

beetle

2
[ 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
before 900; Middle English betel, Old English bētl, bȳtel hammer (cognate with Middle Low German bētel chisel), equivalent to bē(a)t- beat + -il noun suffix

Related formsbee·tler, noun

beetle

3
[ 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
1325–75; Middle English; back formation from beetle-browed

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for beetling


British Dictionary definitions for beetling

beetle

1
/ (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

beetle

2
/ (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

beetle

3
/ (ˈbiːtəl) /

verb

(intr) to overhang; jut

adjective

overhanging; prominent
Derived Formsbeetling, 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

Word Origin and History for beetling
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper