noun \ˈbā-ə-ˌwlf\

Definition of BEOWULF

:  a legendary Geatish warrior and hero of the Old English poem Beowulf
Be·o·wulf·ian \ˌbā-ə-ˈwl-fē-ən\ adjective

First Known Use of BEOWULF

before 12th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Heroic poem considered the highest achievement of Old English literature and the earliest European vernacular epic. It deals with events of the early 6th century and was probably composed c. 700–750. It tells the story of the Scandinavian hero Beowulf, who gains fame as a young man by vanquishing the monster Grendel and Grendel's mother; later, as an aging king, he kills a dragon but dies soon after, honoured and lamented. Beowulf belongs metrically, stylistically, and thematically to the Germanic heroic tradition but shows a distinct Christian influence.


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