bestiary

noun
bes·ti·ary | \ˈbes-chē-ˌer-ē, -ˌe-rē, ˈbesh-, ˈbēs-, ˈbēsh-\
plural bestiaries

Definition of bestiary 

1 : a medieval allegorical or moralizing work on the appearance and habits of real or imaginary animals

2a : a collection of descriptions or representations of real or imaginary animals

b : an array of real humans or literary characters often having symbolic significance

3 : an unusual or whimsical collection a truly astounding bestiary of airplane designs— Peter Garrison

Examples of bestiary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

These oddities—and undoubtedly many others theorists have yet to even dream of—fill out our universe’s bizarre stellar bestiary. Yasemin Saplakoglu, Scientific American, "Watch Now: The Weirdest Stars in the Universe," 8 Mar. 2018 Kingdom Animalia is a sprawling, modern-day take on the medieval bestiary. Courant Community, "Community News For The Windham Edition," 18 Sep. 2017 Here’s a bacterium whose genetic material includes genes from a diverse bestiary: Icelandic hyperthermophiles, petunias, yeast, perhaps a bit of bioluminescent jellyfish. Sophia Roosth, Slate Magazine, "What Synthetic Biology Has in Common With Queer Theory," 25 Apr. 2017 The great bestiaries, from Herodotus to Audubon, are all embellished. Kevin Conley, Town & Country, "Acute Angler," 9 Dec. 2012 The formal exuberance of this modern bestiary is exhilarating. Helen Macdonald, New York Times, "Biographies of Cecil the Lion and Others in ‘Animals Strike Curious Poses’," 13 Mar. 2017

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

1817, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bestiary

Medieval Latin bestiarium, from Latin, neuter of bestiarius of beasts, from bestia

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Dictionary Entries near bestiary

bestial

bestiality

bestiarist

bestiary

besticulture

bestie

bestir

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The first known use of bestiary was in 1817

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