\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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!
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Revelers try to get as close as possible to the spark-shooting beasts without getting burned, or worse. Lorraine Ali,, "Review: 'Brimstone & Glory' looks at a small town in Mexico where fireworks are made," 1 July 2018 Portrayals of dinosaurs with lizard-like tongues hearken to early interpretations of the beasts as oversized lizards. Mindy Weisberger, Scientific American, "T. Rex Couldn’t Stick Out Its Tongue," 24 June 2018 This isn’t the first time a black panther has allegedly been spotted in the Blue Mountains with an apparent rare sighting captured of the mythical beast last month. Shireen Khalil, Fox News, "Mysterious catlike creature, five times size of feral cat, caught on film," 12 June 2018 In 2003, the BBC funded a massive expedition using satellites and 600 sonar beams but didn’t find any signs of the beast. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "DNA Survey of Life in Loch Ness Will Hunt for Its Monster Resident," 29 May 2018 The Guardian Angels go into the belly of the beast in Chicago, Detroit, Trenton. Allison Klein, Washington Post, "‘If anything happens in that school, I’m coming in that door’: Meet the unarmed volunteers patrolling Stoneman Douglas High School," 22 May 2018 Whatever kind of beast it is now moved from the front of the house to the back of the house quickly, then tried to climb one side of the A-frame. Rasputin Todd,, "The diary of a broken man and his 'pet' raccoon," 11 May 2018 Its past identity is falling away in favor of a beast with many of the same rhetorical techniques, but different goals. Daniel D'addario, Time, "Laura Ingraham Is Fox News's Problem, and Its Way Forward," 10 Apr. 2018 How to Get Around Miami has the largest street-grid system in the Southeast, and most people get around by car—which means traffic is a bit of beast. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Essential Things to Know Before You Visit Miami," 2 Mar. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about beast

Dictionary Entries near beast





beast epic

beast fable

beast god

Phrases Related to beast

different beast

Statistics for beast

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for beast

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


an open space surrounded by woods

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!