[ mon-ster ]
/ ˈmɒn stər /



huge; enormous; monstrous: a monster tree.

Nearby words

  1. monseigneur,
  2. monsieur,
  3. monsignor,
  4. monsoon,
  5. monsoon low,
  6. monster truck,
  7. monstera,
  8. monstering,
  9. monstrance,
  10. monstrosity

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

Examples from the Web for monster

British Dictionary definitions for monster


/ (ˈmɒnstə) /


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

Medicine definitions for monster


[ mŏnstər ]


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.