beef

noun
\ˈbēf \
plural beefs\ˈbēfs \ or beeves\ˈbēvz \

Definition of beef 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the flesh of an adult domestic bovine (such as a steer or cow) used as food

2a : an ox, cow, or bull in a full-grown or nearly full-grown state especially : a steer or cow fattened for food quality Texas beeves a herd of good beef

b : a dressed carcass of a beef animal

3 : muscular flesh : brawn

4 plural beefs : complaint

beef

verb
beefed; beefing; beefs

Definition of beef (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to increase or add substance, strength, or power to usually used with up money to beef up its staff of professional economists— John Fischer

intransitive verb

: complain always beefing about something

Illustration of beef

Illustration of beef

Noun

beef 2b: A wholesale cuts: 1 shank, 2 round with rump and shank cut off, 3 rump, 4 sirloin, 5 short loin, 6 flank, 7 rib, 8 chuck, 9 plate, 10 brisket, 11 shank; B retail cuts: a heel pot roast, b round steak, c rump roast, d sirloin steak, e pinbone steak, f short ribs, g porterhouse, h T-bone, i club steak, j flank steak, k rib roast, l blade rib roast, m plate, n brisket, o crosscut shank, p arm pot roast, q boneless neck, r blade roast

In the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of beef in a Sentence

Noun

I'm not eating as much beef as I used to. My real beef is with the organization's president, not the group itself.

Verb

She's always beefing about something. he tends to stand around and beef for hours about any slight, real or imagined
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Plus, White explains that a recent Beef Wise study has shown that lean beef is just as effective as other protein choices in supporting healthy weight loss and leaner bodies. Patricia Bannan, Fox News, "10 dietitian-approved breakfasts to keep you full longer," 15 Aug. 2018 Homemade beef and pork meatballs are soft and rich, too, without a trace of grease. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "How to eat like a local in the North End," 3 July 2018 The store also serves hot meals: the Wagyu beef burger, sausage and egg sandwich, and pulled pork sandwich sell well. Dylan Jackson, miamiherald, "Small butcher shops are in 'a renaissance.' How did they survive the supermarket offensive?," 2 July 2018 The Tuscan beef burger shares brioche bun space with mozzarella, tomato, basil, baby spinach, garlic mayonnaise and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "18 new restaurants in Carmel, Noblesville, Westfield and Indianapolis' north side," 27 June 2018 Maybe not a traditional beef burger, but a terrific Indian interpretation. Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle, "Best burgers in the Bay Area from the 2018 Top 100 restaurants," 12 June 2018 Fill it with beef stew and give your old man his quiet meal. Graham Averill, Outside Online, "Last-Minute Father's Day Gifts—for $45 or Less," 11 June 2018 This tiny, authentic British pub is a treat and features hearty English fare such as Guinness beef stew, bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie. latimes.com, "Detours worth taking on your next road trip," 20 May 2018 Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar Visit this upscale burger chain on Tuesday for a free milkshake to accompany your beef patty. Madison Roberts, PEOPLE.com, "All the Restaurants Where Teachers Can Get Free Food on Teacher Appreciation Day," 7 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While responsibility to report on the mental health of aging customers remains somewhat of a gray area, some companies are beefing up efforts to detect trouble spots. Lisa Ward, WSJ, "Banks Monitor Older Customers for Cognitive Decline," 20 Nov. 2018 Tesla is also beefing up its blind spot monitoring by using the side and rear-facing cameras to help the rear-facing ultrasonic sensors detect when another car is creeping up beside you. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Tesla adds Atari games and dash camera feature in new software update," 5 Oct. 2018 These versatile picks in black, gray, navy, and white can beef up your existing collection on the couch or on your bed. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "30+ Cute Throw Pillows Under $20 You Won't Regret Buying," 5 Sep. 2018 The Kansas City Star is beefing up its award-winning coverage of the Kansas City Chiefs with some new faces who can't wait to get started. Jeff Rosen, kansascity, "The Star hires two new reporters to cover Kansas City Chiefs," 10 July 2018 More police presence All three cities are beefing up law enforcement. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "'We had sewage coming up from the drains': 5 ways northwest Valley cities are upgrading," 25 June 2018 Christian colleges are beefing up or highlighting offerings in STEM fields like engineering and computer science. Laura Pappano, New York Times, "At Christian Colleges, a Collision of Gay Rights and Traditional Values," 5 June 2018 Most schools have been quietly beefing up security since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 as well. Jacob Carpenter, Houston Chronicle, "On heightened alert after Santa Fe, districts report gun incidents at three schools," 21 May 2018 The plan also beefs up funding to fix Michigan roads, though extra road funding in 2019 will remain below the $1.2-billion level it is expected to hit when a 2015 road funding plan is fully implemented in 2021. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "State House approves budget: More troopers, no bottled water for Flint," 24 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beef.' 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 beef

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1860, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for beef

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French beof, bef ox, beef, from Latin bov-, bos head of cattle — more at cow

Verb

verbal derivative of beef entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about beef

Statistics for beef

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for beef

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for beef

beef

noun

English Language Learners Definition of beef

: meat from a cow

: muscles

beef

noun
\ˈbēf \
plural beefs\ˈbēfs \ or beeves\ˈbēvz \

Kids Definition of beef

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the meat of a steer, cow, or bull

2 : a steer, cow, or bull especially when fattened for food

3 plural beefs : complaint sense 2

beef

verb
beefed; beefing

Kids Definition of beef (Entry 2 of 2)

: complain He's always beefing about something.

beef up

: to add weight, strength, or power to The coach beefed up the team's defense.

beef

noun
\ˈbēf \
plural beefs\ˈbēfs \ or beeves\ˈbēvz \

Medical Definition of beef 

: the flesh of an adult domestic bovine (as a steer or cow) used as food

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on beef

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with beef

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for beef

Spanish Central: Translation of beef

Nglish: Translation of beef for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beef for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about beef

Comments on beef

What made you want to look up beef? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a knickknack or trinket

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!