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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.
Historical Examples

They are able to penetrate into the body of men, and thus produce similar physical and mental disturbances as the animalic demons.
The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria Morris Jastrow

(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:

  • Animalize

    to excite the passions of; brutalize; sensualize. Fine Arts. to represent in form or endow with features. Historical Examples Then to animalize a substance, is only to destroy the obstacles that prevent its being active or sensible. The System of Nature, Volume 1 Paul Henri Thiery (Baron D’Holbach) verb (transitive) to rouse to brutality or […]

  • Animalier

    noun a painter or sculptor of animal subjects, esp a member of a group of early 19th-century French sculptors who specialized in realistic figures of animals, usually in bronze (as modifier): an animalier bronze

  • Animalism

    preoccupation with or motivation by sensual, physical, or carnal appetites rather than moral, spiritual, or intellectual forces. the theory that human beings lack a spiritual nature. Historical Examples Let the object of existence be reunion with God, not the mere gratification of animalism. The Catholic World; Vol. IV.; October, 1866, to March, 1867. E. Rameur […]

  • Animalist

    a person driven by appetites; sensualist. an advocate of the theory of animalism.

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