noun (1)
bea·​ver | \ ˈbē-vər How to pronounce beaver (audio) \
plural beavers

Definition of beaver

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 or plural beaver
a : either of two large semiaquatic herbivorous rodents comprising a family (Castoridae including Castor canadensis of North America and C. fiber of Eurasia), having webbed hind feet and a broad flat scaly tail, and constructing dams and partially submerged lodges
b : the fur or pelt of the beaver
2a : a hat made of beaver fur or a fabric imitation
b : silk hat
3 : a heavy fabric of felted wool or of cotton napped on both sides
4 vulgar : the genitals of a female especially when covered with pubic hair


noun (2)

Definition of beaver (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a piece of armor protecting the lower part of the face
2 : a helmet visor


beavered; beavering; beavers

Definition of beaver (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to work energetically beavering away at the problem

Illustration of beaver

Illustration of beaver

Noun (2)

B beaver 1

In the meaning defined above

First Known Use of beaver

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1946, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for beaver

Noun (1)

Middle English bever, from Old English beofor; akin to Old High German bibar beaver, and probably to Old English brūn brown — more at brown

Noun (2)

Middle English baviere, from Middle French

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Time Traveler for beaver

Time Traveler

The first known use of beaver was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near beaver

beaux yeux



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Cite this Entry

“Beaver.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for beaver


bea·​ver | \ ˈbē-vər How to pronounce beaver (audio) \

Kids Definition of beaver

: an animal that has thick brown fur, webbed hind feet, and a broad flat tail, that cuts down trees with its teeth, and that builds dams and houses of sticks and mud in water

Beaver geographical name

Bea·​ver | \ ˈbē-vər How to pronounce Beaver (audio) \

Definition of Beaver

1 river 280 miles (451 kilometers) long in northwestern Oklahoma forming the upper course of the North Canadian River
2 river 305 miles (491 kilometers) long Canada in Alberta and Saskatchewan flowing east into the Churchill River

More from Merriam-Webster on beaver

Nglish: Translation of beaver for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beaver for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about beaver


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