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beast·​ly ˈbēst-lē How to pronounce beastly (audio)
beastlier; beastliest
: 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
: characterized by cruelty, brutality, or crudeness
Yet this beastly little man was capable of exquisite humor and tenderness.Edmund Morris
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
: 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
beastliness noun


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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

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
In it, a bloodthirsty, bubonic plague-spreading vampire (Bill Skarsgard) develops a beastly obsession with a young woman (Lily-Rose Depp), causing a series of horrific events. Grace Tucker, The Enquirer, 26 Jan. 2024 MacKinnon is leading a team of scientists who’ll spend the holiday riding out a beastly storm that’s forecast to produce 70 mph winds and 20-foot waves. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Nov. 2023 Of course, a large pickup truck, plus the weight of a battery, gas engine, and fuel tank, likely means the Ramcharger has a beastly curb weight and probably should not just become your primary daily driver. Umar Shakir, The Verge, 7 Nov. 2023 Since then, Parrot has been expanding its quadrotor lineup, with mini quadrotors, wheeled quadrotors, semi-aquatic quadrotors, and quadrotors with beastly cameras inside of them. IEEE Spectrum, 23 Aug. 2016 Sony’s answer to the Microsoft Elite Series of controllers is a beastly piece of tech with a textured grip that feels more comfortable to hold during long gaming sessions. Popular Mechanics, 29 Aug. 2023 Jaramillo and his team have built two life-size models of the beastly snake to show its sheer size. Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 9 Aug. 2023 The Ranger Raptor, unveiled along with the other 2024 Ranger models at a lakeside lodge and cottage camp site near Dexter, west of Detroit, adds a beastly 3-liter EcoBoost V6 to the 10-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive to deliver 405 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, 10 May 2023 The two cars for this exercise are the beastly AMG GT 63 S—its V-8 turbo good for 630 hp—and the automaker’s all-electric EQS, whose motors can deliver 751 hp (in Boost mode). Marco Della Cava, Robb Report, 27 Apr. 2023
As part of the intake stroke, a supercharger pulls and squeezes air into the engine to create that beastly whine. Kristin Shaw, Popular Science, 3 Apr. 2024 There’s a reason this beastly, brawny truck is still doing quite well despite being the oldest truck of its type on the market. Josh Max, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 That is how Europeans justified the transatlantic slave trade: by portraying Africans as beastly, ignorant, evil. Murtada Elfadl, Variety, 13 Nov. 2023 The player to watch this year is our beastly wide receiver, Davante Adams. Daniel Kohn, Spin, 6 Sep. 2023 We were also impressed by how beastly these are at absorbing shock while remaining lightweight and flexible for walking, thanks to the brand's special outsole technology. Maverick Li, Men's Health, 2 Aug. 2023 In one of the ‘edits’ to Dahl’s work the phrase ‘ugly and beastly’ to describe Mrs. Twit has been cut down to just ‘beastly’ since ‘ugly’ is no longer allowed. Erik Kain, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2023 In Adam Rubin's cheeky tale, beastly, fire-breathing creatures are really just misunderstood party monsters, allowing children to conquer their wildest fears. Karen Cicero, Good Housekeeping, 10 July 2023 Burbling around town, the merest blip of the throttle pedal unleashes beastly bravado. Jeremy Taylor, Robb Report, 11 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'beastly.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


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


1655, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near beastly

Cite this Entry

“Beastly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
beast·​ly ˈbēst-lē How to pronounce beastly (audio)
beastlier; beastliest
: of, relating to, or resembling a beast : bestial
: disagreeable sense 1, unpleasant
beastly weather
beastliness noun


2 of 2 adverb
: very entry 2 sense 1
a beastly cold day

More from Merriam-Webster on beastly

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