huge; enormous; monstrous: a monster tree.

Origin of monster

1250–1300; Middle English monstre < Latin mōnstrum portent, unnatural event, monster, equivalent to mon(ēre) to warn + -strum noun suffix
Related formsmon·ster·like, adjective

Synonyms for monster Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for monster

Contemporary Examples of monster

Historical Examples of monster

  • But in those days a father who demanded obedience wasn't considered a monster.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • But Theseus by this time had leaped up, and caught the monster off his guard.

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • "Thou hast slain the monster," cried Ariadne, clasping her hands.

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • I thank God that I was not born an emperor, or I might have become a monster.

  • Siegfried went through the brush in the direction from which the monster had come.

British Dictionary definitions for monster



an imaginary beast, such as a centaur, usually made up of various animal or human parts
a person, animal, or plant with a marked structural deformity
a cruel, wicked, or inhuman person
  1. a very large person, animal, or thing
  2. (as modifier)a monster cake

verb (tr)

Australian and NZ informal to criticize (a person or group) severely
Australian and NZ sport to use intimidating tactics against (an opponent)

Word Origin for monster

C13: from Old French monstre, from Latin monstrum portent, from monēre to warn
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 monster

early 14c., "malformed animal or human, creature afflicted with a birth defect," from Old French monstre, mostre "monster, monstrosity" (12c.), and directly from Latin monstrum "divine omen, portent, sign; abnormal shape; monster, monstrosity," figuratively "repulsive character, object of dread, awful deed, abomination," from root of monere "warn" (see monitor (n.)). Abnormal or prodigious animals were regarded as signs or omens of impending evil. Extended by late 14c. to imaginary animals composed of parts of creatures (centaur, griffin, etc.). Meaning "animal of vast size" is from 1520s; sense of "person of inhuman cruelty or wickedness" is from 1550s. As an adjective, "of extraordinary size," from 1837. In Old English, the monster Grendel was an aglæca, a word related to aglæc "calamity, terror, distress, oppression."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

monster in Medicine




An animal, a plant, or other organism having structural defects or deformities.
A fetus or an infant that is grotesquely abnormal and usually not viable.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with monster


see green-eyed monster.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.