noun \ˈbēf\

: meat from a cow

: muscles

plural beefs \ˈbēfs\ or beeves \ˈbēvz\

Full Definition of BEEF

:  the flesh of an adult domestic bovine (as a steer or cow) used as food
a :  an ox, cow, or bull in a full-grown or nearly full-grown state; especially :  a steer or cow fattened for food <quality Texas beeves> <a herd of good beef>
b :  a dressed carcass of a beef animal
:  muscular flesh :  brawn
plural beefs :  complaint

Examples of BEEF

  1. I'm not eating as much beef as I used to.
  2. My real beef is with the organization's president, not the group itself.

Illustration of BEEF

Origin of BEEF

Middle English, from Anglo-French beof, bef ox, beef, from Latin bov-, bos head of cattle — more at cow
First Known Use: 13th century

Other Food Terms

Reuben, calamari, chuck, curry, edamame, foie gras, hummus, leaven, nonpareil, peel

Rhymes with BEEF



Definition of BEEF

transitive verb
:  to increase or add substance, strength, or power to —usually used with up <money to beef up its staff of professional economists — John Fischer>
intransitive verb
:  complain <always beefing about something>

Examples of BEEF

  1. She's always beefing about something.
  2. <he tends to stand around and beef for hours about any slight, real or imagined>

First Known Use of BEEF



noun \ˈbēf\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural beefs \ˈbēfs\ or beeves \ˈbēvz\

Medical Definition of BEEF

: the flesh of an adult domestic bovine (as a steer or cow) used as food


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Flesh of mature cattle, as distinguished from veal, the flesh of calves. The best beef is obtained from steers (castrated males) and heifers (female cows that have not calved). Tenderness and flavour are improved by aging; in one common method, the carcass is hung for about two weeks at approximately 36 °F (2 °C). The world's primary beef producers and consumers are the U.S., the European Union, Brazil, China, Argentina, and Australia. Grading standards are relatively uniform; in the U.S., grades range from prime and choice to utility and canner. Beef provides protein and B vitamins; it also contains saturated fat, an excess of which can contribute to heart disease and other health problems. Beef is not eaten by Hindus because of the sacred status of the cow.


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