Definition of beast in English:

beast

noun

  • 1An animal, especially a large or dangerous four-footed one.

    ‘a wild beast’
    • ‘They soon are left on their own, protecting their herds from lions and other wild beasts.’
    • ‘These cunning warriors are trained from birth to hunt, track and trap the most dangerous beasts in the wild.’
    • ‘These ancient, wild beasts have become pocket-money pets.’
    • ‘The same can be said of many of the contenders, but lurking in the jungle are some dangerous beasts.’
    • ‘A beast is never so dangerous as when it is cornered or injured.’
    • ‘Sometimes, they were left to be eaten by insects or wild beasts.’
    • ‘The Hokkaido wolf is a formidable beast but not dangerous to man as long as other prey is to be had for the killing.’
    • ‘Many appeared to be mixtures of wild beasts and reptiles.’
    • ‘In Dawson, White Fang becomes an attraction, and people come to see the wild beast in the cage.’
    • ‘She stood up and opened the cage, the beast followed her out and stayed by her side.’
    • ‘But, as has been proved so often in the past, a wounded Wallaby makes a dangerous beast.’
    • ‘Then the movie literally stops and begins anew, retelling a mythic tale about a wild beast and the hunter who must kill it or be devoured by it.’
    • ‘Shepherds, who tended their sheep in the forests, used to beat drums to ward off wild beasts from preying on the cattle.’
    • ‘On landing, the astronaut ‘will be able to deal with wild beasts, sharks and other dangerous animals or enemies’, the website reported.’
    • ‘However, some residents were a bit apprehensive about having wild carnivorous beasts in their midst.’
    • ‘A baby animal might seem cute but potential owners should remember that a nine-inch baby lizard could well turn into a dangerous beast five or six feet long.’
    • ‘Instead it sounded like the roar of a beast, deep and dangerous.’
    • ‘Birds and forest creatures were peaceful here; there, nothing but wild beasts and scavengers roamed the land.’
    • ‘So how about a wild beast which is half lion and half tiger?’
    • ‘Cages for beasts like tigers and lions are made of toughened glass with green plants inside.’
    1. 1.1usually beasts A domestic animal, especially a bovine farm animal.
      • ‘These very early domesticated beasts looked much like aurochsen; they were large and of very similar morphology.’
      • ‘They cannot accept that they are just beings the same as pets, farm beasts, flowers, insects et al.’
      • ‘The bovine beast had escaped from its pen in the Pattaya Naklua area in the early hours of the morning.’
      • ‘According to him, this beast was quite an attraction at the farm and he said its presence will be missed.’
      • ‘If you get the cow near the top and push fast and heavily enough you'll tip the bovine beast.’
      • ‘After the horses were well tied up, the driver spent a few minutes feeding the beasts and devising a plan to store his cart.’
      • ‘These are intelligent but domesticated beasts which have a telepathic link with their human riders, who are colonists on a distant planet.’
      • ‘Under the fire of the sun, the world became green, the crops grew tall and strong, and the beasts of farm and field have grown fat and strong.’
      • ‘A team from the farm and the auction mart spent several hours giving the beasts a wash and brush up before the sale on Tuesday.’
      • ‘This was an irresistible combination - shame it had to close early but at least those noble beasts can enjoy the after show party down on the farm.’
      • ‘A few years ago he'd often spot the wooly beasts on a neighbouring farm with huge sores on their backsides, weak and hardly able to stand.’
      • ‘The huge antler spikes were within a few yards of her, and in a flash of numbing fear she remembered Mortimer's warning, to beware of horned beasts on the farm.’
      • ‘Used to be that farm beasts, cattle and sheep, sometimes even pigs, were herded into the fields after harvest, working over the stubble and roots.’
      • ‘There was no room on the farm for any creature, man or beast, who could not perform its role.’
      • ‘We conducted an impromptu windfall apple hunt, nearly as much fun as an Easter Egg hunt, and went to feed the greedy beasts.’
      animal, creature, brute
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    2. 1.2humorous, archaic An animal as opposed to a human.
      ‘the gift of reason differentiates humanity from the beasts’
      • ‘At once, they were a group of humans, not rabid beasts and they felt fear.’
      • ‘According to him, the second category of people, which did not contribute to science and knowledge, are more like beasts than human beings.’
      • ‘It chilled me due to the fact that it sounded more beast like than human.’
      • ‘If that was true, then these business people must be beasts in human form!’
      • ‘For Overton the line between human and beasts was rather unclear.’
      • ‘Mile upon mile of fir and silver birch forests with not a human or beast to be seen.’
      • ‘The media frenzy following her arrest portrayed an image of a person more beast than human.’
      • ‘Remember, one principle about humanity: The human race is unlike any beast.’
    3. 1.3 An inhumanly cruel, violent, or depraved person.
      ‘he is a filthy drunken beast’
      • ‘I saw the transformation take place, the placid exterior to the violent, savage beast.’
      • ‘That sentence was increased after the intervention of the Home Secretary, who instead insisted on a whole life tariff for the sex beast.’
      • ‘The guests of the banquet sway extraneously from portrayals as parasites, wild, carnivorous beasts and ravenous dogs to spoilt brats at a kid's party to well mannered socialites.’
      • ‘But the second she became a traveling cohort she turned into a violent, raging beast.’
      • ‘However, his vapid surface concealed a beast, one that roared in violent protest.’
      • ‘Some will be so sociopathic that they can't be treated as anything other than dangerous beasts.’
      • ‘To top all this off, my horoscope read that I am a cruel heartless beast of a person.’
      • ‘The tender scene made her more determined to help find this inhuman beast and stop him from shattering any more lives.’
      • ‘She reminds us that French revolutionary leaders were often portrayed as wild beasts or savage tigers by critics at the time and that the tiger in the poem is located in a nightmarish industrial landscape.’
      • ‘I have been the cruelest of beasts, lying to you and all.’
      • ‘I also have nothing but praise for the police and law enforcement team - they did a great job and I am glad we have more tools such as DNA testing for catching and convicting sex beasts.’
      monster, brute, savage, barbarian, animal, swine, pig, ogre, fiend, sadist, demon, devil
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    4. 1.4informal An objectionable or unpleasant person or thing.
      ‘a scheming, manipulative little beast’
      • ‘And no, it's not what you're thinking, you dirty beast.’
      • ‘Ringing in his ears will be his father's warning ‘not to make a beast of yourself’.’
      • ‘He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.’
      • ‘Now look here you filthy Russian beast.’
      • ‘Where a beautiful, intelligent young woman once stood was a beast of death and heartlessness.’
      • ‘He obviously thinks I'm a psycho beast and didn't call me.’
      • ‘So I dumped a great girl and got involved with what turned out to be the psycho beast from hell.’
    5. 1.5the beast A person's brutish or untamed characteristics.
      ‘the beast in you is rearing its ugly head’
      • ‘People who don't take responsibility for their lives is what brings out the beast in her.’
      • ‘Rudely awakened, the Forester spots the Vixen, the sight of whom releases the beast in him, as in us all.’
      • ‘This is why I shouldn't stop blogging, even if it brings out the beast in me.’
      • ‘Any situation that makes you anonymous and gives permission for aggression will bring out the beast in most people.’
      • ‘I didn't want to do this, but the beast in me was telling me over and over again to do it.’
      • ‘To extract the best from himself, Hartson believes he must draw out the beast in himself.’
      • ‘For some reason he was unable to see the beast in our sister.’
      • ‘She brings out the beast in men (The Corsair howls at the moon).’
      • ‘I like to try and manipulate the beast of the audience.’
      • ‘Blasting up sand hills on roaring machinery brings out the beast in even the sweetest ladies.’
      • ‘As Somerset have demonstrated so emphatically down at Taunton, the Australians bring out the beast in everyone.’
    6. 1.6informal with adjective A thing or concept possessing a particular quality.
      ‘that much-maligned beast, the rave record’
      • ‘Double acts are difficult beasts to sustain, and this cabaret partnership was no different.’
      • ‘This magnificent beast was obviously oblivious to our presence.’
      • ‘Did you ever know that Miss USA is a whole different beast from Miss America?’
      • ‘Not only was it that rare beast, a new opera, it was an opera that was Canadian to the core, with music by composer Estacio and a libretto by playwright Murrell.’
      • ‘After that, there is the small matter of Lopez, who is that rare beast - a blond, blue-eyed Spaniard who serves and volleys for all he is worth.’
      • ‘Their music was a more aggressive, angular beast than that of Slint: screaming rage and explosions equally matched by a very rhythmic, fractured, sound.’
      • ‘He still had a mysterious air about him and I was afraid of the possessive beast that lurked just below the surface.’
      • ‘But the modern pensioner is an entirely different beast.’
      • ‘Glacial beauty meets rock-dwelling beast on this undeniably epic LP by another Toronto band from the Broken Social Scene fold.’
      • ‘I had a busy day yesterday, as one is apt to do when one is on the hunt for that precarious beast called ‘a job.’’
      • ‘Now, I had actually seen a model for the park a couple of years ago, and had no doubt that this abstract beast was going to be a complete disaster.’
      • ‘Unknown to the vast majority of urban-dwelling Scots, this magnificent beast is the subject of one of the most bitter controversies ever to affect wildlife in this country.’
      • ‘But he was able to make an incredible impact through the sheer force of his intellect, which made him - even on the backbenches - a big political beast.’
      • ‘All humans are political beasts at some level so political leanings are unavoidable, especially in professional groups that deal with information.’
      • ‘But it is, as I say, a very big beast, and it takes time.’
      • ‘The European Commission is a very different beast.’
      • ‘What is far more important to Bullfrog, a true Canadian beast, than who comprises the audience that comes to see them on any given night, is that there is an audience.’
      • ‘Constitutional change is a dangerous beast, and it needs strong public support.’
      • ‘The trouble is, they have roused the enemy, and a galvanised Pakistan can be a dangerous beast.’
      • ‘Look beneath the surface, though, and you discover an extra-ordinarily sophisticated beast, capable of producing shots that can be blown up to poster size.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French beste, based on Latin bestia.

Pronunciation

beast

/bist//bēst/