Definition of beef in US English:

beef

noun

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

    • ‘In a saucepan over medium heat, combine bacon, sausage and beef.’
    • ‘Although beef is still the meat most often consumed by adults in Quebec, consumption of red meat has decreased since 1971.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Tuck into steak, roast beef, venison and other red meat at least three times a week’
    • ‘Start the potatoes first, then make the green peppercorn sauce; keep it warm over low heat while you cook the beef.’
    • ‘Make meat the last thing you put in your shopping cart to ensure that the beef stays cold until you get home.’
    • ‘Visitors can barbecue food ranging from beef, pork to potato and fish.’
    • ‘Cut small slits in your pork or beef roast before cooking and insert half cloves to season.’
    • ‘Although beef is the store's primary product, fresh vegetables are also available.’
    • ‘Explain that it is your mission, as a host and a cook, to take their experience of roast beef to a new level.’
    • ‘Lodge staff served the meal, which consisted of roast chicken, roast beef, potato croquettes, yellow rice, mixed vegetables and mieliepap.’
    • ‘I would bake muffins on the bus in the early morning and roast beef in the afternoon.’
    • ‘My favourite food is roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.’
    • ‘Guests may enjoy a special meal of roast sirloin beef served with mashed potatoes and green vegetable.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Jay had ordered roast beef sandwhiches in panini bread and iced chocolate for her and iced coffee for himself.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1Farming A cow, bull, or ox fattened for its meat.
      • ‘Finishing beef on grass presents a unique challenge to this re-emerging enterprise.’
      • ‘We have a neighbor who raises grass fed beef and pastured poultry.’
      • ‘Forage beef thus encompasses at least half of the potential market.’
      • ‘Driving across expanses of the West today, one might ask, ‘Where's the beef?’’
      • ‘‘Get in those saddles and let's get these beeves movin’!’’
      cow, heifer, bull, bullock, calf, ox
      View synonyms
  • 2informal Flesh or muscle, typically when well developed.

    ‘he needs a little more 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.’
    • ‘Geez, how about a Superman with some beef on his bones?’
    muscle, muscularity, brawn, bulk, heftiness, burliness, huskiness, physique
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Strength or power.
      ‘he's been brought in to give the team more beef’
      • ‘We definitely need more beef up front.’
      • ‘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.’
      power, brawn, brawniness, muscle, muscularity, burliness, sturdiness, robustness, toughness, hardiness, lustiness
      power, influence, dominance, ascendancy, supremacy
      View synonyms
  • 3informal A complaint or grievance.

    ‘he has a beef with American education: it doesn't teach the basics of investing’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They began taking their beefs to the media.’
    • ‘We would need to see the context of these memos to know what beefs Roberts might have had with the offending words.’
    • ‘Or are they just using these tragic AIDS deaths to further their own cynical, and often juvenile, beefs with the Church?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Address beefs and concerns directly, not behind peoples’ backs.’
    • ‘Michael Hyman told the Chicago Sun Times, ‘We still have a beef… We will review our options.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And one of their major beefs with us is having a closed meeting!’
    • ‘But, for what it's worth, I have no beefs with the current executives.’
    • ‘Warrington, essentially, your beefs with these films are length and boredom.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Here's another one of my beefs with judges - and this is the complaint that lawyers oftentimes get - that we file frivolous lawsuits.’
    • ‘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.

    ‘a drunk-driving 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

[no object]informal
  • Complain.

    ‘he was beefing about how the recession was killing the business’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They beef about record-level deficits.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Because of that he still felt like beefing about something’
    • ‘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’
      • ‘So those penalties will be beefed up substantially.’
      • ‘Safety is on the forefront of everyone's minds, and the government is beefing up security everywhere.’
      • ‘We were writing regulations, we were beefing up legislation.’
      • ‘It is beefing up its capabilities in electronic investigation and cross-border operations.’
      • ‘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…’
      • ‘These checkpoints were beefed up following a number of casualties, wounds and death to U.S. forces.’
      • ‘We have tried to get players on loan, but there's no point in bringing them in just to beef the bench up.’
      • ‘The security, I think it is important that we recognize it and beef it up.’
      • ‘Additionally, doors, boots and hatches have been beefed up to provide solid operation.’
      • ‘The cover is respectful but distinctive, retaining the mood of the original but beefing up the arrangement with a full, cinematic, sound.’
      • ‘We heard that they were beefing up security in anticipation of serious protests.’
      • ‘Several malls have beefed up security in light of the present crime climate.’
      • ‘Besides having the public police drivers, Hall said he's aiming to improve public safety by beefing up on vehicle inspections and driver monitoring.’
      • ‘We've got to have beefed up intelligence, including much stronger human intelligence.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So far protests from campaigners have been muted, but security around the base has been beefed up with additional police patrols.’
      • ‘Mechanics have reinforced the car's chassis with extra steelwork and have beefed up the suspension to take extra load.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Hence the search for other PhDs and in the meantime, beefing up my training skills to that of a performance consultant.’
      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

/bif//bēf/