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any member of the kingdom Animalia, comprising multicellular organisms that have a well-defined shape and usually limited growth, can move voluntarily, actively acquire food and digest it internally, and have sensory and nervous systems that allow them to respond rapidly to stimuli: some classification schemes also include protozoa and certain other single-celled eukaryotes that have motility and animallike nutritional modes.
any such living thing other than a human being.
a mammal, as opposed to a fish, bird, etc.
the physical, sensual, or carnal nature of human beings; :
the animal in every person.
an inhuman person; brutish or beastlike person:
She married an animal.
A perfect job? Is there any such animal?
of, relating to, or derived from animals:
animal instincts; animal fats.
pertaining to the physical, sensual, or carnal nature of humans, rather than their spiritual or intellectual nature:
animal needs.
Contemporary Examples

Ramis made a lot of funny movies, including animal House, Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, and Analyze This.
Harold Ramis’s ‘Groundhog Day’ Is About as Perfect as a Movie Gets Malcolm Jones February 24, 2014

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the animal is “teetering on the brink of extinction.”
Borana Joins the Fight to Save Kenya’s Rhinos…and Wants You to Help Too Joanna Eede February 17, 2014

The serum failed to neutralize the virus in subsequent tests and seemed to offer little protection in animal experiments.
Infected Ebola Doctor Kent Brantly Is an Endangered Hero Michael Daly August 2, 2014

Nor does she support Nicolas Sarkozy, who she believes betrayed his promises to her on animal rights.
Brigitte Bardot Pens Letter Of Support For Far-Right Front National Candidate Marine Le Pen Eric Pape February 25, 2012

7 Impossibly Cute Shirley Temple Moments (VIDEOS) Kevin Fallon February 10, 2014

Historical Examples

His name was Arrogante, and he was an animal of prodigious power.
Minnie’s Pet Dog Madeline Leslie

Do you make up your mind beforehand that if the animal should kill you, it is all right?
Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald

With the lithe, easy motions of the animal after which he was named, the Indian rose.
The Rover of the Andes R.M. Ballantyne

But in this case Kingozi was nearer a hundred and twenty than twenty yards from the animal.
The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White

He evidently did not know the speed of the animal I was mounted on, or my temper.
Buckskin Mose Buckskin Mose

(zoology) any living organism characterized by voluntary movement, the possession of cells with noncellulose cell walls and specialized sense organs enabling rapid response to stimuli, and the ingestion of complex organic substances such as plants and other animals related prefix zoo-
any mammal, esp any mammal except man
a brutish person
(facetious) a person or thing (esp in the phrase no such animal)
(Austral, informal) a very dirty car
of, relating to, or derived from animals: animal products, an animal characteristic
of or relating to the physical needs or desires; carnal; sensual

early 14c. (but rare before c.1600, and not in KJV, 1611), “any living creature” (including humans), from Latin animale “living being, being which breathes,” neuter of animalis “animate, living; of the air,” from anima “breath, soul; a current of air” (see animus, and cf. deer). Drove out the older beast in common usage. Used of brutish humans from 1580s.

late 14c., from animal (n.). Animal rights is attested from 1879; animal liberation from 1973. Animal magnetism originally (1784) referred to mesmerism.

animal an·i·mal (ān’ə-məl)

A multicellular organism with membranous cell walls of the kingdom Animalia, differing from plants in certain typical characteristics such as capacity for locomotion, nonphotosynthetic metabolism, pronounced response to stimuli, restricted growth, and fixed bodily structure.

An animal organism other than a human, especially a mammal.

A human considered with respect to his or her physical, as opposed to spiritual, nature.


Relating to, characteristic of, or derived from an animal or animals.

Relating to the physical as distinct from the spiritual nature of humans.

Any of the multicellular organisms belonging to the kingdom Animalia. All animals are eukaryotes, with each of their cells having a nucleus containing DNA. Most animals develop from a blastula and have a digestive tract, nervous system, the ability to move voluntarily, and specialized sensory organs for recognizing and responding to stimuli in the environment. Animals are heterotrophs, feeding on plants, other animals, or organic matter. The first animals probably evolved from protists and appeared during the Precambrian Era.


A brutal or aggressive person, esp one given to excessive sexuality or violence (1940s+ Army & students)

an organized living creature endowed with sensation. The Levitical law divided animals into clean and unclean, although the distinction seems to have existed before the Flood (Gen. 7:2). The clean could be offered in sacrifice and eaten. All animals that had not cloven hoofs and did not chew the cud were unclean. The list of clean and unclean quadrupeds is set forth in the Levitical law (Deut. 14:3-20; Lev. 11).


Read Also:

  • Animal behavior

    (def 2). a branch of biology that deals with the of animals, encompassing such fields as ethology, comparative psychology, behavioral ecology, and sociobiology. Contemporary Examples In short, the animal behavior expert told the zoo to stop pampering Gus and start treating him like a bear. A Eulogy for Gus, Central Park’s Polar Bear Man of […]

  • Animal black

    any of various black pigments, as boneblack or ivory black, obtained from calcined animal matter. Historical Examples If the citric acid is not sufficiently white, it is decolorised by digestion with animal black. Cooley’s Cyclopdia of Practical Receipts and Collateral Information in the Arts, Manufactures, Professions, and Trades…, Sixth Edition, Volume I Arnold Cooley If […]

  • Animal charcoal

    carbon obtained from the carbonization of organic tissue of animals. Historical Examples The bones are either used for manure, or are converted into animal charcoal, valuable for various purposes in the arts. Sheep, Swine, and Poultry Robert Jennings It is got as a by-product in the manufacture of animal charcoal. Bookbinding, and the Care of […]

  • Animal companion

    an animal that is kept as a companion; pet. noun a euphemistic term for a pet Examples Some people reject the use of the word ‘pet’ as exploitative and opt for ‘animal companion.’

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