• synonyms


[ bey-uh-woo lf ]
/ ˈbeɪ əˌwʊlf /


(italics) an English alliterative epic poem, probably written in the early 8th century a.d.
the hero of this poem.


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Examples from the Web for beowulf

British Dictionary definitions for beowulf


/ (ˈbeɪəˌwʊlf) /


an anonymous Old English epic poem in alliterative verse, believed to have been composed in the 8th century a.d
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 beowulf


Old English beo wulf, literally "bee-wolf," "a wolf to bees;" a kenning for "bear." See bee (n.) + wolf (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for beowulf


[ (bay-uh-woolf) ]

An epic in Old English, estimated as dating from as early as the eighth century; the earliest long work of literature in English. The critical events are the slaying of the monster Grendel and Grendel's mother by the hero Beowulf and Beowulf's battle with a dragon, in which he is mortally wounded.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.