Definition of beef in English:

beef

noun

  • 1mass noun The flesh of a cow, bull, or ox, used as food.

    ‘there was the smell of roast beef’
    as modifier ‘beef cattle’
    • ‘Although beef is the store's primary product, fresh vegetables are also available.’
    • ‘My favourite food is roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.’
    • ‘She wraps her finger in a clean paper towel, checks her steak and turns off the flame beneath the beef and vegetable flavored soup she's preparing for Sarah.’
    • ‘I have to say that the roast rib eye of beef in wholemeal bread was superb.’
    • ‘Tuck into steak, roast beef, venison and other red meat at least three times a week’
    • ‘In a saucepan over medium heat, combine bacon, sausage and beef.’
    • ‘He dropped his stack of papers and envelopes onto the table, and took my plate to cut up the beef, cheese, and slice the bread thinner without a word.’
    • ‘He warmed and ate some of the beef but didn't sleep.’
    • ‘Lodge staff served the meal, which consisted of roast chicken, roast beef, potato croquettes, yellow rice, mixed vegetables and mieliepap.’
    • ‘Cut small slits in your pork or beef roast before cooking and insert half cloves to season.’
    • ‘Using a sharp knife, carve the beef into broad thin slices, holding the knife blade at a 45-degree angle to the top of the meat.’
    • ‘Jay had ordered roast beef sandwhiches in panini bread and iced chocolate for her and iced coffee for himself.’
    • ‘Make meat the last thing you put in your shopping cart to ensure that the beef stays cold until you get home.’
    • ‘Main courses included roast beef, lamb and pork from the carvery, steak and kidney pie, poached chicken with mushroom and asparagus sauce and vegetable lasagne.’
    • ‘Although beef is still the meat most often consumed by adults in Quebec, consumption of red meat has decreased since 1971.’
    • ‘Guests may enjoy a special meal of roast sirloin beef served with mashed potatoes and green vegetable.’
    • ‘Start the potatoes first, then make the green peppercorn sauce; keep it warm over low heat while you cook the beef.’
    • ‘Explain that it is your mission, as a host and a cook, to take their experience of roast beef to a new level.’
    • ‘Visitors can barbecue food ranging from beef, pork to potato and fish.’
    • ‘I would bake muffins on the bus in the early morning and roast beef in the afternoon.’
    1. 1.1Farming count noun A cow, bull, or ox fattened for its meat.
      ‘a beef sent to the abattoir’
      • ‘Driving across expanses of the West today, one might ask, ‘Where's the beef?’’
      • ‘Forage beef thus encompasses at least half of the potential market.’
      • ‘Finishing beef on grass presents a unique challenge to this re-emerging enterprise.’
      • ‘‘Get in those saddles and let's get these beeves movin’!’’
      • ‘We have a neighbor who raises grass fed beef and pastured poultry.’
      cow, heifer, bull, bullock, calf, ox
      View synonyms
  • 2informal mass noun Flesh with well-developed muscle.

    ‘he needs a little more beef on his bones’
    • ‘Geez, how about a Superman with some beef on his bones?’
    • ‘He's got a bit more beef on his bones now, but he's lost none of his cheerful, boyish looks.’
    • ‘Although this is typically a powerlifter's split, it is the quickest way to get some serious beef on your bones.’
    muscle, muscularity, brawn, bulk, heftiness, burliness, huskiness, physique
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Strength or power.
      ‘he was brought in to give the team more beef’
      • ‘Yes, I know their defense looked good most of the season and Simon was good addition, I just feel they still need more beef up the middle and Wright is, I think, an active playmaker who can stuff the run.’
      • ‘The tank size is OK, but you need more beef.’
      • ‘We definitely need more beef up front.’
      power, brawn, brawniness, muscle, muscularity, burliness, sturdiness, robustness, toughness, hardiness, lustiness
      power, influence, dominance, ascendancy, supremacy
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 The substance of a matter.
      ‘it's more a sketch than a policy—where's the beef?’
      • ‘And if we are to entertain such proclamations, then where's the beef?’
      • ‘But the service territories would not overlap, and since they're mainly looking toward bundled services where's the beef.’
      • ‘It is certainly willing to take controversial stands like being against high prices and in favour of cheaper pints, but where's the beef?’
      • ‘It may well be the sound of the suburbs, drawing on a cacophony of influences born out of a misspent youth, but to paraphrase that great 80s catchphrase, where's the beef?’
      • ‘That should cover around 15 minutes of gametime, but where is the beef?’
      • ‘Elgin Dairy Foods, Chicago, beefs up its Research and Development team to support the company's line of 140 formulations and to support the imminent introduction of seven new products in the next year.’
  • 3informal A complaint or grievance.

    ‘he has a beef with education: it doesn't teach the basics of investing’
    • ‘When they concluded that the truth lied somewhere in between what they were both told, the decision was to bring the two crews together to squash the beef.’
    • ‘Warrington, essentially, your beefs with these films are length and boredom.’
    • ‘My only beef is with the tone of the way it's been implemented - if you can call it a beef, I don't feel strongly enough about it to start an argument.’
    • ‘And one of their major beefs with us is having a closed meeting!’
    • ‘They began taking their beefs to the media.’
    • ‘Michael Hyman told the Chicago Sun Times, ‘We still have a beef… We will review our options.’’
    • ‘I was using my pension to illustrate that pension inequity was not across the board either and so maybe the beef should be with the NHS and other organisations for their shortcomings.’
    • ‘I didn't think she had a beef against anyone else in our crowd - most of Dana's friends stayed away from the group - so that meant she was coming to bug me some more.’
    • ‘We would need to see the context of these memos to know what beefs Roberts might have had with the offending words.’
    • ‘One of my biggest beefs with the station is how little students get back from it in return for how much of the station's funding is received from the students.’
    • ‘My beef is the lack of communication that often fosters false expectations in patients, who then blame the local doctors when things turn out worse than they hoped.’
    • ‘So several of the UK intellectuals' beefs with the US have been addressed in the days since the President's visit.’
    • ‘As I write in the book, most people who write books or who are in television generally have some beef or some complaint they want to make.’
    • ‘But, for what it's worth, I have no beefs with the current executives.’
    • ‘Here's another one of my beefs with judges - and this is the complaint that lawyers oftentimes get - that we file frivolous lawsuits.’
    • ‘Address beefs and concerns directly, not behind peoples’ backs.’
    • ‘Or are they just using these tragic AIDS deaths to further their own cynical, and often juvenile, beefs with the Church?’
    • ‘I do not want beefs and gripes - I need genuine areas of difficulty which are causing work life imbalance.’
    complaint, criticism, objection, protestation, cavil, quibble, grievance, grumble, moan, grumbling, carping
    View synonyms
  • 4US informal A criminal charge.

    ‘getting caught with pot in the sixties was a narco beef’
    • ‘After checking police reports and court documents, the website said that if anything, he may have spent a day or so in jail for a drunk driving beef.’
    • ‘He had busted him on a robbery beef involving a cellular phone.’
    • ‘He was framed for political reasons during the last election and was sent up for a 21 years on a homicide beef.’
    charge, accusation, arraignment, citation, summons
    View synonyms

verb

informal
  • no object Complain.

    ‘he was beefing about how the recession was killing the business’
    • ‘They beef about record-level deficits.’
    • ‘As I tell my students when they beef about my tests: Life isn't multiple choice, True-False or an Essay question; more often than not it's short answer--and your grade is based on your understanding of the context of the question.’
    • ‘Because of that he still felt like beefing about something’
    • ‘I can't remember what I was beefing about with regard to the internet. I did used to get wound up about stuff but I've got it off my chest already.’
    • ‘You were totally oblivious of the curious expressions of others as you beefed about this to the manager directly and loudly.’
    protest, grumble, moan, whine, bleat, carp, cavil, lodge a complaint, make a complaint, make a fuss
    View synonyms

Phrasal Verbs

  • beef something up

    • Give more substance or strength to something.

      ‘cost-cutting measures are planned to beef up performance’
      • ‘These checkpoints were beefed up following a number of casualties, wounds and death to U.S. forces.’
      • ‘Besides having the public police drivers, Hall said he's aiming to improve public safety by beefing up on vehicle inspections and driver monitoring.’
      • ‘The cover is respectful but distinctive, retaining the mood of the original but beefing up the arrangement with a full, cinematic, sound.’
      • ‘It is beefing up its capabilities in electronic investigation and cross-border operations.’
      • ‘Several malls have beefed up security in light of the present crime climate.’
      • ‘Hence the search for other PhDs and in the meantime, beefing up my training skills to that of a performance consultant.’
      • ‘So far protests from campaigners have been muted, but security around the base has been beefed up with additional police patrols.’
      • ‘We were writing regulations, we were beefing up legislation.’
      • ‘So those penalties will be beefed up substantially.’
      • ‘Mechanics have reinforced the car's chassis with extra steelwork and have beefed up the suspension to take extra load.’
      • ‘Additionally, doors, boots and hatches have been beefed up to provide solid operation.’
      • ‘Safety is on the forefront of everyone's minds, and the government is beefing up security everywhere.’
      • ‘We have tried to get players on loan, but there's no point in bringing them in just to beef the bench up.’
      • ‘We heard that they were beefing up security in anticipation of serious protests.’
      • ‘So they said, OK, if we're going to do it, we have to beef it up or something because it was a much milder version when we…’
      • ‘The security, I think it is important that we recognize it and beef it up.’
      • ‘If your foreign policy results in swelling the ranks of your existing enemies, and creating whole new enemies, you had better start beefing up your defence.’
      • ‘A circle of preschoolers listening to a story are beefing up their language abilities.’
      • ‘He's tried to be tough on national defense, talking about beefing up our defenses at home, in terms of homeland security and abroad.’
      • ‘We've got to have beefed up intelligence, including much stronger human intelligence.’
      toughen up, strengthen, build up, reinforce, substantiate, consolidate, invigorate, improve, flesh out
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French boef, from Latin bos, bov- ‘ox’.

Pronunciation

beef

/biːf/