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

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 There’s no evidence that carnivorous plants acquired any of their beastly habits by hijacking genes from their animal victims, says Hedrich, although genes do sometimes pass from one type of organism to another. Stephanie Pain, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Mar. 2022 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, 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, 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, 20 Feb. 2020 Same with Thompson, who continues to increase his price with beastly performances and invaluable leadership. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 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, 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, 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, 11 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The beastly mill is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission and can pump out up to 682 horses. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 19 July 2022 How could a guy who was so beastly to women be so talented in picking artful movies? Chris Vognar, Los Angeles Times, 11 July 2022 The beastly mill is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and is capable of churning out 1,479 hp and 1,181 ft lbs of torque. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 21 June 2022 Sherif’s music is not quite as loud and beastly as Pop Smoke’s. Jayson Buford, Rolling Stone, 3 June 2022 The killer is also sentient rather than a beastly hunter—such as the Demogorgon—or a powerful but voiceless demon—like the Mind Flayer. Erik Kain, Forbes, 28 May 2022 The beastly mill is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission and roars from quad exhaust pipes. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 11 May 2022 Buy our brand of razors instead, for a smooth, glossy feel, you beastly woman, haha! Kathryn Kvas, The New Yorker, 22 Mar. 2022 Not to mention the fact that its beastly V-12 mill was capable of producing the sort of power that was virtually unheard of in 1974. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 15 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of beastly


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


1655, in the meaning defined above

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

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Cite this Entry

“Beastly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for beastly


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

Kids Definition of beastly

: very unpleasant : horrible beastly behavior

More from Merriam-Webster on beastly

Nglish: Translation of beastly for Spanish Speakers


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