Definitions

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

Etymologies

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)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.