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any of numerous insects of the order Coleoptera, characterized by hard, horny forewings that cover and protect the membranous flight wings.
(loosely) any of various insects resembling the beetle, as a cockroach.
Chiefly British. to move quickly; scurry:
He beetled off to catch the train.
a heavy hammering or ramming instrument, usually of wood, used to drive wedges, force down paving stones, compress loose earth, etc.
any of various wooden instruments for beating linen, mashing potatoes, etc.
to use a beetle on; drive, ram, beat, or crush with a beetle.
to finish (cloth) with a beetling machine.
projecting; overhanging:
beetle brows.
to project; jut out; overhang:
a cliff that beetles over the sea.
to hang or tower over in a threatening or menacing manner:
The prospect of bankruptcy beetled over him.
Contemporary Examples

The beetle was launched with a series of television commercials unlike any before them.
Nationalism on Four Wheels Clive Irving October 17, 2014

The sago palm weevil, a type of beetle, is eaten, roasted or raw, as a larvae in Southeast Asia.
Cicadas, Grasshoppers, Locusts, Ants Among the Tastiest Insects Nina Strochlic May 13, 2013

In 2007, FWS reported that the beetle outbreak had affected only 16 percent of the whitebark pines.
What It Takes to Kill a Grizzly Bear Doug Peacock November 22, 2014

Historical Examples

Make careful drawings of a cluster of eggs, the grub and the beetle.
An Elementary Study of Insects Leonard Haseman

I don’t care whether you’re deef or dumb, or whether you’re nummer’n a beetle!
Meadow Grass Alice Brown

It is a living caricature, this beetle with the prodigious snout.
Social Life in the Insect World J. H. Fabre

Is not the author and parent of all our love, Cupid, as blind as a beetle?
The Praise of Folly Desiderius Erasmus

In passin’ I saw an angleworm three times the size of a firehose, and a beetle big enough to saddle.
Operation Earthworm Joe Archibald

By the way, did he mention the name of the beetle that’s going to do all this heavy work?
Old Man Curry Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

The boll-weevil is a beetle about a quarter of an inch in length.
Checking the Waste Mary Huston Gregory

any insect of the order Coleoptera, having biting mouthparts and forewings modified to form shell-like protective elytra related adjective coleopteran
a game played with dice in which the players draw or assemble a beetle-shaped form
verb (intransitive; foll by along, off, etc)
(informal) to scuttle or scurry; hurry
a heavy hand tool, usually made of wood, used for ramming, pounding, or beating
a machine used to finish cloth by stamping it with wooden hammers
verb (transitive)
to beat or pound with a beetle
to finish (cloth) by means of a beetle
(intransitive) to overhang; jut
overhanging; prominent

type of insect, Old English bitela “beetle,” literally “little biter,” from bitel “biting,” related to bitan “to bite” (see bite). As a nickname for the original Volkswagen car, 1946, translating German Käfer.

beating tool, Old English bietel, from Proto-Germanic *bautilo-z, from *bautan “to beat” (see beat (v.)).

“project, overhang,” c.1600, back-formation from bitelbrouwed “grim-browed, sullen” (mid-14c.), from bitel “sharp-edged, sharp” (c.1200), probably a compound from Old English *bitol “biting, sharp,” related to bite, + brow, which in Middle English meant “eyebrow,” not “forehead.” Meaning “to overhang dangerously” (of cliffs, etc.) is from c.1600. Related: Beetled; beetling.


A girl; young woman: We could find plenty of nice beetles to rub ourselves against (1920s+)
A racehorse; roach: some beetle whose neck will feel the caress of a floral horseshoe (1930s+ Horse racing)
Trademark of a model of Volkswagen car, with a squat body curving down at front and rear (mid-1940s+)

(Heb. hargol, meaning “leaper”). Mention of it is made only in Lev. 11:22, where it is obvious the word cannot mean properly the beetle. It denotes some winged creeper with at least four feet, “which has legs above its feet, to leap withal.” The description plainly points to the locust (q.v.). This has been an article of food from the earliest times in the East to the present day. The word is rendered “cricket” in the Revised Version.


Read Also:

  • Beetle bank

    noun an area of cultivated land used to breed predatory insects that will kill pests Examples The benefits upon the crop are being noticed, while the creation of beetle banks is both simple and inexpensive and doesn’t interfere with our growers’ normal farming practices.

  • Beetle-browed

    having heavy projecting eyebrows. scowling or sullen. Historical Examples This pale, beetle-browed lady ought to have enjoined those to be timid who know how. Catholic World, Vol. XI, April 1870-September 1870 Various You’re primitive and beetle-browed, but you’ve got what it takes. The Sky Trap Frank Belknap Long And of all other women lean, hollow-eyed, […]

  • Beetlebung

    sour gum.

  • Beetle drive

    noun a social occasion at which a progressive series of games of beetle is played See beetle1 (sense 2)

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