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beastly

adjective beast·ly \ ˈbēst-lē \
|Updated on: 15 Jun 2018

Definition of beastly

beastlier; beastliest
1 a : relating to, characteristic of, or resembling an animal : bestial 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

beastliness

noun

Examples of beastly in a Sentence

  1. left to shift for himself on an isolated farm, he gradually sank into a beastly, purposeless existence

Recent Examples of beastly from the Web

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

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2

beastly

adverb

Definition of beastly

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

Recent Examples of beastly from the Web

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

15th century

in the meaning defined above

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BEASTLY Defined for English Language Learners

beastly

Definition of beastly for English Language Learners

  • : very unpleasant


BEASTLY Defined for Kids

beastly

adjective beast·ly \ ˈbēst-lē \

Definition of beastly for Students

: very unpleasant : horrible
  • beastly behavior


Seen and Heard

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