Definition of monster in US English:



  • 1An imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening.

    • ‘In a cave lives the ugliest monster in the world.’
    • ‘He saw a man lying on the ground, about to be run through by the blade of one of the ugly monsters.’
    • ‘Terrible creatures had come - monsters made of stone, taller than a Rikath, with shiny black and purple skin and no faces.’
    • ‘He also helps to show that some mysterious creatures are not terrible monsters.’
    • ‘One day, a villager suggested firing off fire crackers, bang loud gongs and fly red banner to try to frighten off the monster.’
    • ‘Green-eyed monsters reared their ugly heads long enough for the Captain to attempt decapitation.’
    • ‘There was a gargle of noise, it was scary, my image blurred, the noise was deafening and frightening, as a monster was emerging.’
    • ‘The pathetic creature that the monster had attacked was now being ravenously consumed by the large bug.’
    • ‘It's an ugly monster that feeds on the fear of the unknown.’
    • ‘I started running away from the ugly monster but it started chasing me and growling.’
    • ‘A family sleeping together is safe from things that go bump in the night, whether imaginary monsters or real predators on the savannah.’
    • ‘These are horrid creatures, beasts and monsters.’
    • ‘They loved to tiptoe dramatically across the bridge grimacing in anticipation of waking their imaginary monster.’
    • ‘They were the metallic monsters that frightened generations of children into hiding behind the sofa.’
    • ‘It will, however, provide you with an hour and a half of ugly deformed monsters eating innocent people.’
    • ‘She was made into a horrid, ugly monster.’
    • ‘Now five of the ugly monsters were upon him, he wasn't fairing to well.’
    • ‘From the mountain chain before them emerged a terrifying creature, a monster, a demon to be precise.’
    • ‘In the book you'll also find magic and monsters, angels and demons, magical swords and forbidden books.’
    • ‘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.’
    fabulous creature, mythical creature
    giant, mammoth, colossus, leviathan, behemoth, titan, brobdingnagian, monstrosity
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    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?’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘They feel that if the world considers them a monster they might as well behave like a monster.’
      • ‘They find a little place in the country, far away from monsters and bullies.’
      • ‘For a long time we wanted to believe that here we were dealing with abnormal monsters, psychopaths, or mentally defective, even psychotic individuals.’
      • ‘Don is neither the monster nor the beast that James makes him out to be.’
      • ‘She was a fraud, a monster, and a cruel mean beast.’
      • ‘What hideous, heartless monsters these voters are!’
      • ‘I pondered that thought and raised my head to see the green eyed monster, my boss.’
      • ‘As a result, people who seem normal, your everyday Joe, suddenly become these sadistic monsters who will stoop to anything to achieve the end.’
      • ‘Interestingly, the only one not making her out to be some inhuman monster is her husband, who has stood by her throughout the mess.’
      • ‘How could he have been such a monster, how could he have been so cruel?’
      • ‘However, as soon as they become troublesome teenagers, they are monsters who need locking up for life.’
      • ‘He became a monster, a cruel and crafty invader who was stopped only by epic courage and perseverance.’
      • ‘She wanted to comprehend what made people into unfeeling monsters who took life without a care.’
      • ‘But she would not give these monsters the satisfaction of breaking her down.’
      • ‘Marina is a monster, selfish and manipulative and sulky.’
      • ‘Please don't be as uncivilized, thoughtless, and cruel as the monsters who committed these senseless acts.’
      • ‘Denzel Washington, especially, feasts upon this role and creates a tragic monster.’
      • ‘People were getting stuck into him, saying he was the cause of all our troubles, that he was a scoundrel and a monster.’
      brute, fiend, beast, ogre, devil, demon, barbarian, savage, villain, sadist, animal, bogeyman
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    2. 1.2humorous A person, typically a child, who is rude or badly behaved.
      ‘Christopher is only a year old, but already he is a little monster’
      • ‘As for Buffy's sister, I predict she turns into a monster of some description within three weeks.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Aidan, as you may imagine, had become a little monster in the years.’
      • ‘After the better part of an hour I think the little monster was getting tired, finally.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Do you know what that little monster did last time he was here?’
      • ‘If your little monster wants to look even more scary, there are face painters to give them the ultimate Sunday makeover.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What if she was a monster, rude and abrasive like some other girls I knew?’
      rascal, imp, wretch, mischief-maker, rogue, devil
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    3. 1.3 A thing or animal that is excessively or dauntingly large.
      ‘this is a monster of a book, almost 2,000 pages’
      as modifier ‘a monster 120-mm gun’
      • ‘Horrible metal monsters, they were, and loud.’
      • ‘A monster of a fish for most English anglers and a sad loss but there is plenty more time.’
      • ‘There was a monster of an oak off to her right that hovered right next Chase's window.’
      • ‘She had a monster of a van ready and was waiting for us.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Certainly, if early press reviews are anything to go by, King Kong should become another box office monster itself.’
      • ‘‘Cinderella is a monster of a production and a fitting way to end this year,’ he says.’
      • ‘Also, Tony scored a monster of a point after 28 minutes, following an excellent pass from Michael.’
      • ‘For my money I got a monster of a sandwich, complete with a side serving of salad and dressing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    4. 1.4 A congenitally malformed or mutant animal or plant.
      • ‘Museums and private collectors have for centuries preserved specimens of monsters and mutants.’
      • ‘Many of these aquatic monsters are thought to be seriously threatened by overfishing and habitat destruction.’


[with object]British
  • Criticize or reprimand severely.

    ‘my mother used to monster me for coming home so late’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Or would he have been monstered for settling for defeat?’
    • ‘Clearly, anything short of Section 28 restated was going to be monstered.’
    criticize, censure, condemn, castigate, chastise, lambaste, pillory, savage, find fault with, fulminate against, abuse
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Late Middle English: from Old French monstre, from Latin monstrum ‘portent or monster’, from monere ‘warn’.