: a four-footed mammal as distinguished from a human being, a lower vertebrate, and an invertebrate
: a lower animal as distinguished from a human being
: an animal as distinguished from a plant
: an animal under human control
: a contemptible person
: something formidably difficult to control or deal with

Example Sentences

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!
Recent Examples on the Web And perched on top of that beast is a multibillion-dollar spacecraft: Orion. Nadia Drake, Scientific American, 16 Nov. 2022 This might sound odd, but one of the best ways to level up your plank is to embrace your inner beast and introduce an exercise called the bear plank. Brett Williams, Men's Health, 1 Sep. 2022 McLaren Special Operations unveiled its latest track-only beast this past Friday. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 22 Aug. 2022 Hex Enduction Hour is its own beast — an invitation to a knife fight, a grab by the collar, an immersion into a surrealist netherworld. Spin Staff, SPIN, 15 Aug. 2022 The show began as a fun exercise and has now become its own beast. Jenelle Riley, Variety, 21 July 2022 The ready-to-wear trend cycle is its own tricky beast—but jewelry? Lauren Caruso, Harper's BAZAAR, 15 July 2022 By dropping their latest beast, an 1844-pack, on the general market. Hudson Lindenberger, Forbes, 30 June 2022 Prey, set to launch exclusively on Hulu on August 5, twists the series' naming convention to clarify that our favorite alien beast is now in the bow-and-arrow sights of an eager hunter. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 7 June 2022 See More

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.

Word History


Middle English beste, from Anglo-French, from Latin bestia

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near beast

Cite this Entry

“Beast.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a four-footed mammal as distinguished from human beings and from lower animals both with and without backbones
: a farm animal especially when kept for heavy work
: a mean or brutal person

More from Merriam-Webster on beast

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