Definition of monster in English:



  • 1A large, ugly, and frightening imaginary creature:

    ‘a monster with the head of a hyena and hindquarters of a wolf’
    ‘a world of fable, inhabited by other-worldly monsters’
    • ‘Now five of the ugly monsters were upon him, he wasn't fairing to well.’
    • ‘In a cave lives the ugliest monster in the world.’
    • ‘He also helps to show that some mysterious creatures are not terrible monsters.’
    • ‘I started running away from the ugly monster but it started chasing me and growling.’
    • ‘One day, a villager suggested firing off fire crackers, bang loud gongs and fly red banner to try to frighten off the monster.’
    • ‘Terrible creatures had come - monsters made of stone, taller than a Rikath, with shiny black and purple skin and no faces.’
    • ‘They were the metallic monsters that frightened generations of children into hiding behind the sofa.’
    • ‘The pathetic creature that the monster had attacked was now being ravenously consumed by the large bug.’
    • ‘Green-eyed monsters reared their ugly heads long enough for the Captain to attempt decapitation.’
    • ‘She was made into a horrid, ugly monster.’
    • ‘From the mountain chain before them emerged a terrifying creature, a monster, a demon to be precise.’
    • ‘These are horrid creatures, beasts and monsters.’
    • ‘They loved to tiptoe dramatically across the bridge grimacing in anticipation of waking their imaginary monster.’
    • ‘It will, however, provide you with an hour and a half of ugly deformed monsters eating innocent people.’
    • ‘He saw a man lying on the ground, about to be run through by the blade of one of the ugly monsters.’
    • ‘There was a gargle of noise, it was scary, my image blurred, the noise was deafening and frightening, as a monster was emerging.’
    • ‘A family sleeping together is safe from things that go bump in the night, whether imaginary monsters or real predators on the savannah.’
    • ‘Megan was at that stage where she was afraid to sleep in her own bed-she was seven, and still afraid of monsters and creatures of darkness.’
    • ‘It's an ugly monster that feeds on the fear of the unknown.’
    • ‘In the book you'll also find magic and monsters, angels and demons, magical swords and forbidden books.’
    giant, mammoth, colossus, leviathan, behemoth, titan, brobdingnagian, monstrosity
    fabulous creature, mythical creature
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An inhumanly cruel or wicked person:
      ‘he was an unfeeling, treacherous monster’
      • ‘Does calling these men beasts and monsters ignore the fact that, on some level, many of them are also victims?’
      • ‘Please don't be as uncivilized, thoughtless, and cruel as the monsters who committed these senseless acts.’
      • ‘I pondered that thought and raised my head to see the green eyed monster, my boss.’
      • ‘Interestingly, the only one not making her out to be some inhuman monster is her husband, who has stood by her throughout the mess.’
      • ‘Denzel Washington, especially, feasts upon this role and creates a tragic monster.’
      • ‘Marina is a monster, selfish and manipulative and sulky.’
      • ‘People were getting stuck into him, saying he was the cause of all our troubles, that he was a scoundrel and a monster.’
      • ‘She was a fraud, a monster, and a cruel mean beast.’
      • ‘Now, I think the guy is a monster of the first order and would be very happy to see him sent packing: but does anyone have a clue what would happen if he got forced out?’
      • ‘As a result, people who seem normal, your everyday Joe, suddenly become these sadistic monsters who will stoop to anything to achieve the end.’
      • ‘But she would not give these monsters the satisfaction of breaking her down.’
      • ‘They find a little place in the country, far away from monsters and bullies.’
      • ‘However, as soon as they become troublesome teenagers, they are monsters who need locking up for life.’
      • ‘They feel that if the world considers them a monster they might as well behave like a monster.’
      • ‘For a long time we wanted to believe that here we were dealing with abnormal monsters, psychopaths, or mentally defective, even psychotic individuals.’
      • ‘She wanted to comprehend what made people into unfeeling monsters who took life without a care.’
      • ‘Don is neither the monster nor the beast that James makes him out to be.’
      • ‘He became a monster, a cruel and crafty invader who was stopped only by epic courage and perseverance.’
      • ‘What hideous, heartless monsters these voters are!’
      • ‘How could he have been such a monster, how could he have been so cruel?’
      brute, fiend, beast, ogre, devil, demon, barbarian, savage, villain, sadist, animal, bogeyman
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2humorous A rude or badly behaved person, typically a child:
      ‘he's only a year old, but already he is a little monster’
      • ‘I looked over my shoulder and saw that the little monster I called my brother had indeed returned to the room sometime while I was asleep.’
      • ‘As for Buffy's sister, I predict she turns into a monster of some description within three weeks.’
      • ‘The little monster just sat and asked for more, more, more!’
      • ‘I smiled unconsciously it was a weird name but somehow it actually suited my little monster perfectly.’
      • ‘After the better part of an hour I think the little monster was getting tired, finally.’
      • ‘Aidan, as you may imagine, had become a little monster in the years.’
      • ‘Do you know what that little monster did last time he was here?’
      • ‘So no ducking under the duvet, then, when your little monster threatens to waken the neighbours, if not the dead, with his wee-small-hours wake-up call.’
      • ‘If your little monster wants to look even more scary, there are face painters to give them the ultimate Sunday makeover.’
      • ‘What if she was a monster, rude and abrasive like some other girls I knew?’
      rascal, imp, wretch, mischief-maker, rogue, devil
      View synonyms
  • 2A thing of extraordinary or daunting size:

    ‘this is a monster of a book, almost 500 pages’
    [as modifier] ‘a monster 36lb carp’
    • ‘Zelda had come back, late in the evening, running home with as much energy as she could muster, with a monster of a bruise bang smack near his eye.’
    • ‘She had a monster of a van ready and was waiting for us.’
    • ‘There was a monster of an oak off to her right that hovered right next Chase's window.’
    • ‘For my money I got a monster of a sandwich, complete with a side serving of salad and dressing.’
    • ‘In front of them sat a monster of a car, and within it a tiny old lady drove, her head hardly even reaching over the dashboard.’
    • ‘Since then, the rodeo has grown to a monster of an event with an international reputation, a gigantic prize purse and an Air Force pulse heating throughout.’
    • ‘‘Cinderella is a monster of a production and a fitting way to end this year,’ he says.’
    • ‘We saw electric rays, soles and at one point a monster of a greenback turtle in the distance, the biggest of our stay and warier than most.’
    • ‘Horrible metal monsters, they were, and loud.’
    • ‘He got to the turn in 35 two under par and then canned a monster of a putt of around 70 feet at the 10th to move to three under.’
    • ‘A monster of a fish for most English anglers and a sad loss but there is plenty more time.’
    • ‘Also, Tony scored a monster of a point after 28 minutes, following an excellent pass from Michael.’
    • ‘Certainly, if early press reviews are anything to go by, King Kong should become another box office monster itself.’
  • 3A congenitally malformed or mutant animal or plant.

    • ‘Many of these aquatic monsters are thought to be seriously threatened by overfishing and habitat destruction.’
    • ‘Museums and private collectors have for centuries preserved specimens of monsters and mutants.’


  • Criticize or reprimand severely:

    ‘my mum used to monster me for coming home so late’
    • ‘Or would he have been monstered for settling for defeat?’
    • ‘Clearly, anything short of Section 28 restated was going to be monstered.’
    • ‘As a result of that process, the bill was quite monstered at the select committee stage.’
    • ‘The time to monster the poor man is when he's got it wrong.’
    • ‘However, they fear that if this was attempted they would be monstered for being too open or too uncertain about critical areas of public concern.’
    criticize, censure, condemn, castigate, chastise, lambaste, pillory, savage, find fault with, fulminate against, abuse
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Old French monstre, from Latin monstrum portent or monster, from monere warn.