animal 1 of 2

as in creature
one of the lower animals as distinguished from human beings we saw a lot of animals at the wildlife refuge—cranes, alligators, deer, a fox, even an armadillo

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animal

2 of 2

adjective

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How is the word animal different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of animal are carnal, fleshly, and sensual. While all these words mean "having a relation to the body," animal stresses the physical as distinguished from the rational nature of a person.

led a mindless animal existence

When can carnal be used instead of animal?

The words carnal and animal are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, carnal may mean only this but more often connotes derogatorily an action or manifestation of a person's lower nature.

a slave to carnal desires

How do fleshly and carnal relate to one another, in the sense of animal?

Fleshly is less derogatory than carnal.

a saint who had experienced fleshly temptations

When is it sensible to use sensual instead of animal?

The words sensual and animal can be used in similar contexts, but sensual may apply to any gratification of a bodily desire or pleasure but commonly implies sexual appetite with absence of the spiritual or intellectual.

fleshpots providing sensual delights

Thesaurus Entries Near animal

Cite this Entry

“Animal.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/animal. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

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