\ˈbēst \

Definition of beast 

1a : a four-footed mammal as distinguished from a human being, a lower vertebrate, and an invertebrate

b : a lower animal as distinguished from a human being

c : an animal as distinguished from a plant

d : an animal under human control

2 : a contemptible person

3 : something formidably difficult to control or deal with

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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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Recent Examples on the Web

The big showcase destination, the lost city of Atlantis, has been converted to a casino, where winged beasts and dark lords sit dead-eyed in front of flashing slot machines. Barbara Vandenburgh, azcentral, "Monsters go on vacation in 'Hotel Transylvania 3'," 12 July 2018 The visuals feature fantastic beasts and animals as well as more abstract calligraphic flourishes, with a scene of Moses addressing the Israelites added later by the 15th-century scribe-artist Joel ben Simeon. New York Times, "Getty Museum Acquires a Rare, 700-Year-Old Torah," 11 July 2018 That's because the postseason is a different beast and the Cavs successfully game-planned to limit Indiana's two best scorers in Bogdanovic and Victor Oladipo while daring others to beat them who couldn't. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Bojan Bogdanovic will return to the Pacers, report says," 29 June 2018 But the effects artists fail to make the scale of the beast and the mood of the story line up — the creature seems to change size, and often seems to have the wrong weight and substance for its surroundings. Gary Thompson,, "'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom': Dinosaurs eat all the right people, but movie is more appetizer than meal," 20 June 2018 Textbooks taught that North Koreans were beasts and had horns growing out of their heads, seriously. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "What's at stake in Trump's North Korea summit is bigger than we think," 11 June 2018 Steinlauf was an absolute beast this year with 76 goals, 46 assists and 46 draw controls and has committed to John Hopkins University., "St. Thomas Aquinas girls enjoy special relationships during lacrosse season," 3 June 2018 The memoir is written in a Boys’ Own style: Though beset by wild beasts and mortal peril, Aldred makes it to the top. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Shaking the Tree," 30 May 2018 Sometimes, the Marine is knocked unconscious by the beast and found hours later by the next shift. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Known Unknown: Tales of the Yucca Man," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beast.' 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 beast

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

History and Etymology for beast

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

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Dictionary Entries near beast





beast epic

beast fable

beast god

Phrases Related to beast

different beast

Statistics for beast

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for beast

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

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More Definitions for beast



English Language Learners Definition of beast

: an animal; especially : a wild animal that is large, dangerous, or unusual

: an unkind or cruel person

: a person or thing of a particular kind


\ˈbēst \

Kids Definition of beast

1 : a mammal with four feet (as a bear or deer) especially as distinguished from human beings beasts of the forest

2 : a wild animal that is large, dangerous, or unusual

3 : a farm animal especially when kept for work beasts of burden

4 : a horrid person

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Comments on beast

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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