noun \ˈa-nə-məl\

: a living thing that is not a human being or plant

: any living thing that is not a plant

: a person who behaves in a wild, aggressive, or unpleasant way

Full Definition of ANIMAL

:  any of a kingdom (Animalia) of living things including many-celled organisms and often many of the single-celled ones (as protozoans) that typically differ from plants in having cells without cellulose walls, in lacking chlorophyll and the capacity for photosynthesis, in requiring more complex food materials (as proteins), in being organized to a greater degree of complexity, and in having the capacity for spontaneous movement and rapid motor responses to stimulation
a :  one of the lower animals as distinguished from human beings
b :  mammal; broadly :  vertebrate
:  a human being considered chiefly as physical or nonrational; also :  this nature
:  a person with a particular interest or aptitude <a political animal>
:  matter, thing <the theater … is an entirely different animal — Arthur Miller>; also :  creature 1c
an·i·mal·like \-mə(l)-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of ANIMAL

  1. the animals in the zoo
  2. the plants and animals of the forest
  3. She loves all kinds of animals.
  4. Fish, birds, insects, reptiles, mammals, and human beings are all animals.
  5. You're all behaving like a bunch of animals.

Origin of ANIMAL

Latin, from animale, neuter of animalis animate, from anima soul — more at animate
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Zoology Terms

altruism, integument



: of or relating to animals

: coming from the bodies of animals

: of or relating to the body and not to the mind

Full Definition of ANIMAL

:  of, relating to, resembling, or derived from animals
a :  of or relating to the physical or sentient as contrasted with the intellectual or rational
b :  sensual, fleshly
:  of or relating to the animal pole of an egg or to the part from which ectoderm normally develops
an·i·mal·ly \-mə-lē\ adverb

Examples of ANIMAL

  1. several different plant and animal species
  2. milk, meat, and other animal products
  3. People were shocked by the animal brutality of the attack.

First Known Use of ANIMAL


Other Zoology Terms

altruism, integument


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any member of the kingdom Animalia (see taxonomy), a group of many-celled organisms that differ from members of the two other many-celled kingdoms, the plants and the fungi (see fungus), in several ways. Animals have developed muscles, making them capable of spontaneous movement (see locomotion), more elaborate sensory and nervous systems, and greater levels of general complexity. Unlike plants, animals cannot manufacture their own food, and thus are adapted for securing and digesting food. In animals, the cell wall is either absent or composed of material different from that of the plant cell wall. Animals account for about three-quarters of living species. Some one-celled organisms display both plant and animal characteristics. See also algae, arthropod, bacteria, chordate, invertebrate, protist, protozoan, vertebrate.


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