beast·​ly | \ ˈbēst-lē How to pronounce beastly (audio) \
beastlier; beastliest

Definition of beastly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : relating to, characteristic of, or resembling an animal : bestial sense 1 beastly strength Their languages, with complex clicks, were once dismissed as a guttural farrago of beastly sounds.— Stephen Jay Gould
b : characterized by cruelty, brutality, or crudeness Yet this beastly little man was capable of exquisite humor and tenderness.— Edmund Morris
2 informal : extremely unpleasant, disagreeable, or undesirable beastly weather It took him ages to get the beastly stuff out of his eyes and eyebrows, and as for his beard, he had to cut most of it off.— J. R. R. Tolkien At the beastly hour of 9:40 a.m. we trudged up to our nosebleed seats, wobbling like prizefighters in the final round, for the NFL preseason game between the Chargers and the Denver Broncos …— Gary Smith
3 : monstrously large or powerful … the staging area was packed with an eclectic mix of vehicles, from humble hatchbacks to beastly trucks.— Lisa Rose Workers with acetylene torches and a beastly contraption called the "dinosaur" are chewing quickly through the rusting old railroad tunnel …— Tim O'Neill



Definition of beastly (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly British, informal : to an extreme and usually unpleasant degree "It's no good pretending it isn't an awkward situation," continued Bob, "because it is. Beastly awkward."— P. G. Wodehouse : in an unpleasant or beastly manner … an ideological predisposition to believe the Soviet Union will embrace comity if only Washington doesn't act beastly.— Woody West

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from beastly


beastliness noun

Examples of beastly in a Sentence

Adjective left to shift for himself on an isolated farm, he gradually sank into a beastly, purposeless existence
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Back here on Earth, an image of this beastly beauty is perhaps the most famous shots ever snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope in its almost 30 years of operation. Popular Science, "A new view of the Pillars of Creation gives further clues to its gassy demise," 14 Apr. 2020 The Serengeti is one of the world's greatest lion lairs, with around 2,800 beastly kings marauding about the 5,700-square-mile park. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "Have a wild time on a Serengeti safari," 13 Apr. 2020 There are some beastly devices out there that max out at 4TB or 5TB—that will be necessary for some, but those drives also necessitate higher prices. Valentina Palladino And Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Guidemaster: The best portable SSDs you can buy right now," 20 Feb. 2020 Same with Thompson, who continues to increase his price with beastly performances and invaluable leadership. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers keep composure late, shock Denver Nuggets, 111-103, in biggest win of season," 11 Jan. 2020 In this live-action re-imagining of the fairy tale, a young woman takes her father’s place as prisoner in a beast’s castle, only to fall in love with her beastly captor, who turns out to be a prince. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV for Oct. 6-12: ‘Throne of Blood’ and more," 4 Oct. 2019 But Nadal’s triumph confirms his standing as one of the most beastly players in the history of men’s tennis. Kevin Craft, The Atlantic, "Rafael Nadal Takes Another Step Toward Tennis History," 9 Sep. 2019 Lion country The Serengeti is one of the world’s greatest lion lairs, with around 2,800 beastly kings marauding about the 5,700-square-mile park. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Wild time on a Serengeti safari," 11 Sep. 2019 In the galleries The Getty Museum is currently the site of a beastly exhibition about bestiary, the medieval manuscripts that depicted fantastic creatures (unicorns and beavers, oh my!). Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Essential Arts: Questions of power and race after last-minute firing of a play’s director," 27 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Ti flagship, which sucked down 260W. And that beastly GeForce RTX 3090 is even hungrier, gobbling down 350W. Oof. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs: 5 things PC gamers need to know," 2 Sep. 2020 The Blazers are not the Blazers without Nurkic, the beloved and beastly center who anchors both ends, and his reverence among fans and teammates is universal. oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers beat Memphis Grizzlies: 3 things to like and dislike from crucial NBA bubble win," 1 Aug. 2020 Unlike wraith demons, the beastly Tarask can fully slip its bond to hell. Ariana Romero,, "The Warrior Nun Glossary You Need To Watch The New Netflix Series," 2 July 2020 The upgraded Origin EON17-X and its workstation equivalent, the NS-17, both come loaded with Intel’s beastly Core i9-10900KF processor. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "The Origin PC EON17-X crams Intel's 10-core desktop CPU into a laptop," 20 May 2020 The Ruger Marksman Adjustable Trigger is standard and suppressor-ready barrel threading or beastly muzzle brakes are optional. Richard Mann, Outdoor Life, "Best Bolt-Action Rifle Bargains," 17 Sep. 2019 This beastly setup offers Nvidia’s high-end Titan RTX graphics card, paired with a 4GHz processor, 32GB of RAM, and a full terabyte of storage space, with the option to rent more in those 256GB chunks at $3 a pop. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "No PC, no problem: Shadow supercharges cloud gaming with lower prices, faster hardware, and VR," 12 Mar. 2020 On Monday, March 9, at 3 p.m., a princess brings chaos to her kingdom and must rely on her archery skills to break a beastly curse. Houston Chronicle, "Katy-area calendar of events," 8 Mar. 2020 All the while, Whiteside has finally emerged as the beastly two-way force fans were expecting last summer. oregonlive, "‘What deadline?’ After quiet NBA trade deadline, Portland Trail Blazers chase playoffs with familiar roster," 7 Feb. 2020

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


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


15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about beastly

Time Traveler for beastly

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for beastly

Cite this Entry

“Beastly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for beastly


How to pronounce beastly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of beastly

chiefly British : very unpleasant


beast·​ly | \ ˈbēst-lē How to pronounce beastly (audio) \

Kids Definition of beastly

: very unpleasant : horrible beastly behavior

More from Merriam-Webster on beastly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for beastly

Nglish: Translation of beastly for Spanish Speakers

Comments on beastly

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!