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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.
Historical Examples

The beetling wall which it surmounted was named “Log Cabin Cliff.”
Appletons’ Popular Science Monthly, Various

Entered also Mordaunt Merrilac, as beetling of brow as ever.
A Son of the City Herman Gastrell Seely

Shipwrights’ hammers resounded along the shores, and were echoed back by the beetling cliffs.
The Life of a Celebrated Buccaneer Richard Clynton

The old Commoner scowled, and his beetling brows hid for a moment his eyes.
The Clansman Thomas Dixon

At first, the shore was lined with beetling ramparts of trap-rock.
The International Monthly, Vol. II, No. I Various

There could be no doubt about the beetling forehead, the sunken animal eyes.
The Hound of the Baskervilles A. Conan Doyle

To eastward the peak broke away sheer, beetling in a perpetual menace to the valleys and the lower hills.
Earth’s Enigmas Charles G. D. Roberts

He looked searchingly at his daughter from beneath his beetling brows.
The Wilderness Trail Frank Williams

The beetling brows, heavy hooked beak, and spread talons combine to give a fierce and spirited mien to the great bird.
Animal Figures in the Maya Codices Alfred M. Tozzer and Glover M. Allen

Now a lofty, dark, and beetling headland was seen before them.
Digby Heathcote W.H.G. Kingston

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.


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