from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A medieval collection of stories providing physical and allegorical descriptions of real or imaginary animals along with an interpretation of the moral significance each animal was thought to embody. A number of common misconceptions relating to natural history were preserved in these popular accounts.
- n. A modern version of such a collection.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A medieval treatise of various real or imaginary animals.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A treatise on beasts; esp., one of the moralizing or allegorical beast tales written in the Middle Ages.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A fighter with wild beasts in the ancient Roman amphitheater.
- n. A name formerly sometimes given to a book treating of animals.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a medieval book (usually illustrated) with allegorical and amusing descriptions of real and fabled animals
Medieval Latin bēstiārium, from Latin bēstia, beast.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French bestiaire, from Latin bēstia ("beast, animal") (whence English beast). (Wiktionary)