Thesaurus

bestial

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of bestial

having or showing the nature and appetites of a lower animal
  • an apocalyptic sci-fi classic in which a lone drifter fights to avoid the bestial existence lived by the mass of survivors

Synonyms for bestial

Words Related to bestial

Near Antonyms for bestial

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About bestial

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bestial

Time Traveler for bestial

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Bestial.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/bestial. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on bestial

Dictionary: Definition of bestial

Spanish Central: Translation of bestial

Comments on bestial

What made you want to look up bestial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!