bes·​ti·​al·​i·​ty | \ˌbes-chē-ˈa-lə-tē, ˌbesh-, ˌbēs-, ˌbēsh- \
plural bestialities

Definition of bestiality 

1 : sexual relations between a human being and a lower animal

2 : the condition or status of a lower (see lower entry 3 sense 3) animal … the difference between bestiality and humanity …— John Dewey

3 : display or gratification of bestial traits or impulses the bestiality and degradation that war brings— Drew Middleton

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Examples of bestiality in a Sentence

I was shocked by the bestiality of their behavior. by the end of hostilities the populace had been reduced to a level of bestiality that would have been unthinkable before the war

Recent Examples on the Web

The trial of a Michigan State University physicist charged with bestiality took an unusual turn this week when a stuffed animal was brought into a courtroom as a prop. Greg Norman, Fox News, "Attorney uses stuffed animal in case against MSU physicist charged with bestiality," 22 June 2018 Despite the disingenuous hand-wringing of a few Washington, D.C., publications and being accused of bestiality by the insane fake news posse, Wolf comes out of this a winner. Jason Johnson, The Root, "It’s Been a Week; Can We Finally Admit That Everybody Won at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner?," 4 May 2018 Additionally, Pennsylvania court records online do not show any bestiality offenses against Wolf. Nick Vadala,, "No, Michelle Wolf was not arrested for bestiality in Hershey, Pa.," 1 May 2018 As BuzzFeed News reported this week, YouTube is still host to tons of horrible, offensive and dangerous videos, including a number of bestiality videos apparently aimed at children. Kevin Roose, New York Times, "Kevin’s Week in Tech: Let’s Check In on the Other Social Networks, Shall We?," 27 Apr. 2018 Furthermore, Morrell referenced studies that show bestiality is often a strong indicator of pedophilia. Marie Simoneaux,, "Bestiality bill is not an attempt to strike unconstitutional sodomy laws, senator says," 10 Apr. 2018 That is exactly the kind of silly-yet-profound move The Magicians would pull: bury a story about a disenfranchised majority into a little subplot about magical bestiality. Joanna Robinson, HWD, "How The Magicians Turned Margo from Mean Girl to the Show’s Best Character," 29 Mar. 2018 Don’t publicly display or use the Services to share inappropriate content or material (involving, for example, nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic violence, or criminal activity). Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Microsoft To Ban 'Offensive Language' From Skype," 26 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of bestiality

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for bestiality

see bestial

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The first known use of bestiality was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of bestiality

: sex between a person and an animal

: a cruel and violent quality : a bestial quality


bes·​ti·​al·​i·​ty | \ˌbes-chē-ˈal-ət-ē, ˌbēs- \
plural bestialities

Medical Definition of bestiality 

: sexual relations between a human being and a lower animal


bes·​ti·​al·​i·​ty | \ˌbes-chē-ˈa-lə-tē, ˌbēs- \

Legal Definition of bestiality 

: the crime of engaging in sexual relations with an animal — see also crime against nature

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