\ ˈbēst How to pronounce beast (audio) \

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 The photo was altered by a Canadian illustrator, who goes by the screen name IronKite, to show a human skeleton over the beast’s remains along with an addition of a digging man, the National Geographic found. Mckenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Online post showing giant human skeletons is an old hoax," 9 Sep. 2020 Like the elusive man-beast, the police captain noted, Buddy has only been glimpsed. Jesse Leavenworth,, "As the celebrity of Buddy the wayward beefalo grows, Plymouth police hope to lure the beast with love," 4 Sep. 2020 Netted and caged, the great beast dwindles to become a forlorn figure gaped at by crowds. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Under the Surface," 4 Sep. 2020 Billy responds by ramming the boat straight into the giant beast. Nick Schager,, "The Boys recap: Don’t forget your second wind," 4 Sep. 2020 Aldon Smith, who was such a beast rushing the passer. Dallas News, "Why Cris Collinsworth thinks the Cowboys will be the best team in the NFC this season," 3 Sep. 2020 A few years back, my son caught an absolute beast of a smallmouth that went well over 8 pounds, just a half-pound shy of the state record. Tony Hansen, Outdoor Life, "4 Tactics For Catching Late-Summer Smallmouth Bass," 1 Sep. 2020 Law and order are imperiled because there are few people left in the administration to restrain the beast. Jeremi Suri, Washington Post, "White House insiders’ failure to rein in Trump’s tilt toward chaos and lawlessness," 31 Aug. 2020 The beast stood immobile, glaring at us with yellow eyes in the winter dark and illuminated unevenly by Sergey’s light as our pace quickened. Jonathan Slaght, Popular Science, "The quest to snare—and save—the world’s largest owl," 28 Aug. 2020

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

Time Traveler for beast

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for beast

Last Updated

13 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Beast.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for beast


How to pronounce beast (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of beast

old-fashioned : an animal especially : a wild animal that is large, dangerous, or unusual
old-fashioned : an unkind or cruel person
informal : a person or thing of a particular kind


\ ˈbēst How to pronounce beast (audio) \

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).


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!