: a four-footed mammal as distinguished from a human being, a lower vertebrate, and an invertebrate
: a lower animal as distinguished from a human being
: an animal as distinguished from a plant
: an animal under human control
: a contemptible person
: something formidably difficult to control or deal with

Examples of beast in a Sentence

dogs and other four-footed beasts the birds and beasts of the forest They were attacked by a savage beast. He's a cruel, hateful beast!
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These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'beast.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English beste, from Anglo-French, from Latin bestia

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of beast was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near beast

Cite this Entry

“Beast.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a four-footed mammal as distinguished from human beings and from lower animals both with and without backbones
: a farm animal especially when kept for heavy work
: a mean or brutal person

More from Merriam-Webster on beast

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