animal [an-uh-muh l] (previously 01-22-13)
1. 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.
2. any such living thing other than a human being.
3. a mammal, as opposed to a fish, bird, etc.
4. the physical, sensual, or carnal nature of human beings; animality: the animal in every person.
5. an inhuman person; brutish or beast-like person: She married an animal.
6. thing: A perfect job? Is there any such animal?
7. of, relating to, or derived from animals: animal instincts; animal fats.
8. pertaining to the physical, sensual, or carnal nature of humans, rather than their spiritual or intellectual nature: animal needs.
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1, 2. Animal, beast, brute refer to sentient creatures as distinct from minerals and plants; figuratively, they usually connote qualities and characteristics below the human level. Animal is the general word; figuratively, it applies merely to the body or to animal-like characteristics: An athlete is a magnificent animal. Beast refers to four-footed animals; figuratively, it suggests a base, sensual nature: A glutton is a beast. Brute implies absence of ability to reason; figuratively, it connotes savagery as well: a drunken brute. 5. monster. 8. fleshly, physical; beastly, brutal. See carnal.
Origin: 1300-50; Middle English (< Old French) < Latin, noun derivative (with loss of final vowel and shortening of ā) of animāle, neuter of animālis living, animate, equivalent to anim(a) air, breath + -ālis -al1; E adj. also directly < Latin animālis
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