[ bes-chuh l, bees- ]
/ ˈbɛs tʃəl, ˈbis- /


of, relating to, or having the form of a beast: the belief that a person could assume bestial form after death; the bestial signs of the zodiac.
without reason or intelligence; brutal; inhuman: bestial treatment of prisoners.
beastlike in gratifying one's sensual desires; carnal; debased.

Origin of bestial

1350–1400; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Late Latin bēstiālis (Latin bēsti(a) beast + -ālis -al1)
Related formsbes·tial·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bestial

British Dictionary definitions for bestial


/ (ˈbɛstɪəl) /


brutal or savage
sexually depraved; carnal
lacking in refinement; brutish
of or relating to a beast
Derived Formsbestially, adverb

Word Origin for bestial

C14: from Late Latin bestiālis, from Latin bestia beast
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 bestial



late 14c., from Old French bestial (13c.) "relating to animals, stupid, foolish, bestial" and directly from Latin bestialis "like a beast," from bestia (see beast). Sense of "below the dignity of a human" is from c.1400, and in many cases its use is unjust to the beasts.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper