animal

noun
an·​i·​mal | \ ˈa-nə-məl How to pronounce animal (audio) \

Definition of animal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of a kingdom (Animalia) of living things including many-celled organisms and often many of the single-celled ones (such as protozoans) that typically differ from plants in having cells without cellulose walls, in lacking chlorophyll and the capacity for photosynthesis, in requiring more complex food materials (such as proteins), in being organized to a greater degree of complexity, and in having the capacity for spontaneous movement and rapid motor responses to stimulation
2a : one of the lower animals (see lower entry 3 sense 3) as distinguished from human beings
b : mammal broadly : vertebrate
3 : a human being considered chiefly as physical or nonrational also : this nature
4 : a person with a particular interest or aptitude a political animal He's a party animal.
5 : matter, thing the theater … is an entirely different animal— Arthur Miller also : creature sense 1c

animal

adjective

Definition of animal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, resembling, or derived from animals animal instincts animal behavior
2a : of or relating to the physical or sentient as contrasted with the intellectual or rational
b : sensual, fleshly indulged his animal appetites
3 : of or relating to the animal pole of an egg or to the part from which ectoderm normally develops

Other Words from animal

Noun

animallike \ ˈa-​nə-​mə(l)-​ˌlīk How to pronounce animal (audio) \ adjective

Adjective

animally \ ˈa-​nə-​mə-​lē How to pronounce animal (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for animal

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for animal

Adjective

carnal, fleshly, sensual, animal mean having a relation to the body. carnal may mean only this but more often connotes derogatorily an action or manifestation of a person's lower nature. gave in to carnal desires fleshly is less derogatory than carnal. a saint who had experienced fleshly temptations 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 animal stresses the physical as distinguished from the rational nature of a person. led a mindless animal existence

Did you know?

Latin anima means “breath” or “soul,” and animalis, the adjective that comes from it, means “having breath or soul.” An animal such as a cat or dog can be seen to breathe. Plants breathe too, by taking in certain gases from the atmosphere and releasing others. However, this process cannot be observed by the naked eye. So the noun animal, which comes from animalis, was borrowed from Latin for that group of living beings that breathe visibly.

Examples of animal in a Sentence

Noun the animals in the zoo the plants and animals of the forest She loves all kinds of animals. Fish, birds, insects, reptiles, mammals, and human beings are all animals. You're all behaving like a bunch of animals. Adjective several different plant and animal species milk, meat, and other animal products People were shocked by the animal brutality of the attack. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Investigations into the animal and determinations about whether it will be relocated or killed are being handled by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Wildlife Division, which did not return phone calls Wednesday afternoon. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 12 May 2022 By protecting the 1,800 pandas living across the region, the park will also benefit another 8,000 animal and plant species living in the same ecosystem. Rebecca Cairns; Video By Hazel Pfeifer, CNN, 10 May 2022 Ukraine is one of the world’s main exporters of wheat, corn and other grains, and animal and vegetable oils. Lori Ioannou, WSJ, 6 May 2022 Of this, 60% of biodiesel was produced from oilseeds, 27% from used vegetable oils, frying oils, and animal fats, and the remaining produced from cotton seeds. Rhett Power, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Shard #742's residue included animal fats, plant oils, resin, salts, and mercury, with a bit of sodium thrown in. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 3 May 2022 Among them are the impacts on the seventy-plus animal and plant species that the new sections of wall now endanger, including the jaguar, the ocelot, the desert bighorn sheep, and the Mexican gray wolf. The New Yorker, 30 Apr. 2022 This Earth Day, recognizes these animal and plant species that nearly ceased to exist. Camille Fine, USA TODAY, 22 Apr. 2022 The farms are known as CAFOs, concentrated animal feeding operations. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 26 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The efforts, though experimental right now, could also appease those who want non-animal sources of the colorants in their foods, these scientists say. Brittany J. Miller, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Mar. 2022 True to its hippie roots, it will be aimed at tree-huggers with an interior full of sustainable materials like non-animal leather and organic paint. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 19 Mar. 2022 And that poses a threat to human and animal health around the world. Dinah Voyles Pulver, USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2022 Her reason to stop breeding corgis could also be due to the fact that none of the Queen's children took to corgis the way their mother did, though the Windsors are famously animal—and even dog!—lovers. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 23 Apr. 2022 Stella, who uses sustainable materials [and] non-animal materials. Lester Fabian Brathwaite, EW.com, 28 Mar. 2022 In part because of that growing demand, Angama added a mobile four-bedroom safari camp in 2020 that follows animal migration patterns. Jacqueline Gifford, Travel + Leisure, 27 Mar. 2022 Pleasure is addictive and animal; enjoyment is elective and human. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 24 Mar. 2022 The totems interlace fabric, twine and what sometimes appear to be animal or human organs. Washington Post, 28 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'animal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of animal

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for animal

Noun and Adjective

Latin, from animale, neuter of animalis animate, from anima soul — more at animate

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Time Traveler for animal

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near animal

animae mundi

animal

animal bipes implume

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Statistics for animal

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Animal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/animal. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for animal

animal

noun
an·​i·​mal | \ ˈa-nə-məl How to pronounce animal (audio) \

Kids Definition of animal

1 : any member of the kingdom of living things (as earthworms, crabs, birds, and people) that differ from plants typically in being able to move about, in not having cell walls made of cellulose, and in depending on plants and other animals as sources of food
2 : any of the animals lower than humans in the natural order the animals in the zoo
3 : mammal the birds and animals of the forest

animal

noun
an·​i·​mal | \ ˈan-ə-məl How to pronounce animal (audio) \

Medical Definition of animal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of a kingdom (Animalia) of living things including many-celled organisms and often many of the single-celled ones (as protozoans) that typically differ from plants in having cells without cellulose walls, in lacking chlorophyll and the capacity for photosynthesis, in requiring more complex food materials (as proteins), in being organized to a greater degree of complexity, and in having the capacity for spontaneous movement and rapid motor response to stimulation
2a : one of the lower animals as distinguished from human beings
b : mammal broadly : vertebrate

animal

adjective

Medical Definition of animal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or derived from animals
2 : of or relating to the animal pole of an egg or to the part from which ectoderm normally develops

More from Merriam-Webster on animal

Nglish: Translation of animal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of animal for Arabic Speakers

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