bes·​tial | \ ˈbes-chəl How to pronounce bestial (audio) , ˈbesh-, ˈbēs-, ˈbēsh- How to pronounce bestial (audio) \

Definition of bestial

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

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Other Words from bestial

bestialize \ ˈbes-​chə-​ˌlīz How to pronounce bestialize (audio) , ˈbesh-​ , ˈbēs-​ , ˈbēsh-​ \ transitive verb
bestially \ ˈbes-​chə-​lē How to pronounce bestially (audio) , ˈbesh-​ , ˈbēs-​ , ˈbēsh-​ \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of bestial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Preachers began to tell anecdotes about deceitful Jewish misers who consorted with the devil; artists began to visualize such tales in grotesque and frightening detail, endowing their Jewish villains with distinctively fleshy and bestial features. Sara Lipton, The New York Review of Books, "A Terribly Durable Myth," 17 June 2019 Without relying on makeup or costuming, DeCaro’s extended transformation is a comedic tour de force as Gene becomes more and more bestial. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: Hilarious ‘Rhinoceros’ revival in SF comes just in time," 6 June 2019 Last week, two beautiful young lives were destroyed in a moment of bestial violence. Christine M. Flowers,, "'Damage control' language on opioids is a mistake | Christine Flowers," 10 May 2018 All of them, no matter how bestial, or politically taboo. Redbook, "16 Amazing Sex Tricks He Wants You to Know," 22 Jan. 2018 The son of arch-villain Darkseid, Orion was raised by Darkseid’s opposite number, Highfather, on the utopian planet of New Genesis, and has struggled to maintain balance between his bestial nature and the love and nurturing he was given as a child. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "Who Are Ava DuVernay's 'New Gods'?," 15 Mar. 2018 Bodily fluids — bestial and human — stain the screen, punctuating a story that’s as much about rediscovering place as finding love. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, "Review: Love Is Wild, if Not Pretty, in ‘God’s Own Country’," 24 Oct. 2017 Humanity consists of deformed half-wits with bestial appetites. Stephen Holden, New York Times, "In Films From France, Dark Answers to ‘What’s Eating Us?’," 28 Feb. 2017 Animal Poison Control is this awesome 24-hour hotline manned by health experts who specialize in bestial ingestion of unusual items. Lisa Katayama, WIRED, "Animal Poison Control," 23 Feb. 2007

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.

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First Known Use of bestial

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bestial

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

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Statistics for bestial

Last Updated

26 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for bestial

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

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English Language Learners Definition of bestial

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

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Spanish Central: Translation of bestial

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