mon·​ster | \ ˈmän(t)-stər How to pronounce monster (audio) \

Definition of monster

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an animal or plant of abnormal form or structure a mythical monster a sea monster
b : one who deviates from normal or acceptable behavior or character an immoral monster
2 : a threatening force the same monster — Destiny … that rolls every civilization to doom— W. L. Sullivan
3a : an animal of strange or terrifying shape visualize this scaleless monster, eight or nine feet long, sprawling in the shade by the side of the mud pools— W. E. Swinton
b : one unusually large for its kind That truck is a monster.
4 : something monstrous especially : a person of unnatural or extreme ugliness, deformity, wickedness, or cruelty His father was a monster who beat his children for no reason.
5 : one that is highly successful That movie was a monster at the box office.



Definition of monster (Entry 2 of 2)

: enormous or impressive especially in size, extent, or numbers

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Examples of monster in a Sentence

Noun That car is a monster. Inflation has become an economic monster. Adjective The movie turned out to be a monster hit.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hollywood’s Bleeding was a monster in terms of streaming activity in 2019, garnering 2.452 million in SEA units (which translates to 3.371 billion on-demand audio streams for the set’s songs in 2019). Keith Caulfield, Billboard, "'Hollywood's Bleeding' Is Nielsen Music/MRC Data's Top Album of 2019, 'Old Town Road' Most-Streamed Song," 9 Jan. 2020 Now, this is a very loose theory based solely on the fact that T-Pain's costume was a blue monster. Leah Rocketto, Woman's Day, "Who Is The Pink Monster On 'The Masked Singer'? Fans Are Already Guessing," 3 Jan. 2020 By entering the fairy-tale domain, with its monsters, risks and ordeals, Gerda must try to recover the beloved person lost behind his deep-frozen oblivion. The Economist, "A new retelling of “The Snow Queen” is aimed squarely at adults," 31 Dec. 2019 Farris has hunted the Sunflower State for years and has killed multiple monsters, including a 171-inch giant to his credit. Jace Bauserman, Outdoor Life, "The 6 Best Do-it-Yourself Hunts in America," 18 Dec. 2019 Netflix—and virtually every other network and streaming service—hopes to tap into the growing fantasy craze with more monsters and magic. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "The post-“Game of Thrones” fantasy TV boom is here, starting with “The Witcher”," 16 Dec. 2019 Enter Greg Newkirk, a paranormal investigator, travel writer and monster hunter. Natalie B. Compton, The Know, "7 spooky under-the-radar places to visit, according to a ghost hunter," 29 Oct. 2019 However, as victors, the ancestors of today’s mainstream reduced him to a vicious monster (don’t miss the dark skin implication of the water buffalo). Harish Pullanoor, Quartz India, "We, the permanent villains of Indian mythology, must reclaim our fallen icons," 30 Dec. 2019 Chubb was a monster in Week 4, rushing for 165 yards, including 131 in the second half. Dan Labbe, cleveland, "How will Kareem Hunt impact Sunday’s game and four other things to watch when the Browns play the Ravens," 22 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'monster.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of monster


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1837, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for monster

Noun and Adjective

Middle English monstre, from Anglo-French, from Latin monstrum omen, monster, from monēre to warn — more at mind

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Time Traveler for monster

Time Traveler

The first known use of monster was in the 14th century

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Statistics for monster

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Monster.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for monster


How to pronounce monster (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of monster

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a strange or horrible imaginary creature
informal : something that is extremely or unusually large
: a powerful person or thing that cannot be controlled and that causes many problems



English Language Learners Definition of monster (Entry 2 of 2)

informal : very popular and successful


mon·​ster | \ ˈmän-stər How to pronounce monster (audio) \

Kids Definition of monster

1 : a strange or horrible creature
2 : something unusually large
3 : an extremely wicked or cruel person


mon·​ster | \ ˈmän(t)-stər How to pronounce monster (audio) \

Medical Definition of monster

: an animal or plant displaying a major developmental abnormality in form or structure

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Comments on monster

What made you want to look up monster? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

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