bestial

adjective bes·tial \ ˈbes-chəl , ˈbesh- , ˈbēs- , ˈbēsh- \

Definition of bestial

1 a : of or relating to beasts
  • grotesque combinations of human and bestial forms
b : resembling a beast
  • a bestial shape
2 a : lacking intelligence or reason
  • … the bestial man has no sense of right and wrong …
  • —J. E. Hankins
b : marked by base (see 3base 7a) or inhuman instincts or desires : brutal
  • bestial violence
  • … a scene of bestial intoxication …
  • —Herman Melville

bestialize

play \-chə-ˌlīz\ transitive verb

bestially

play \-chə-lē\ adverb

Recent Examples of bestial from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bestial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of bestial

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin bestialis, from bestia beast

Synonym Discussion of bestial

brutal, brutish, bestial, feral mean characteristic of an animal in nature, action, or instinct. brutal applies to people, their acts, or their words and suggests a lack of intelligence, feeling, or humanity.
    • a senseless and brutal war
brutish stresses likeness to an animal in low intelligence, in base appetites, and in behavior based on instinct.
    • brutish stupidity
bestial suggests a state of degradation unworthy of humans and fit only for beasts.
    • bestial depravity
feral suggests the savagery or ferocity of wild animals.
    • the struggle to survive unleashed their feral impulses

BESTIAL Defined for English Language Learners

bestial

adjective

Definition of bestial for English Language Learners

  • : resembling or suggesting an animal or beast : very cruel, violent, etc.


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