Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective bestial differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of bestial are brutal, brutish, and feral. While all these words mean "characteristic of an animal in nature, action, or instinct," bestial suggests a state of degradation unworthy of humans and fit only for beasts.

bestial depravity

In what contexts can brutal take the place of bestial?

The words brutal and bestial can be used in similar contexts, but brutal applies to people, their acts, or their words and suggests a lack of intelligence, feeling, or humanity.

a senseless and brutal war

When is it sensible to use brutish instead of bestial?

While the synonyms brutish and bestial are close in meaning, brutish stresses likeness to an animal in low intelligence, in base appetites, and in behavior based on instinct.

brutish stupidity

When can feral be used instead of bestial?

While in some cases nearly identical to bestial, feral suggests the savagery or ferocity of wild animals.

the struggle to survive unleashed their feral impulses

Thesaurus Entries Near bestial

Cite this Entry

“Bestial.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/bestial. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

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