Hypertext Webster Gateway: "beast"

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary (easton)

This word is used of flocks or herds of grazing animals (Ex.
22:5; Num. 20:4, 8, 11; Ps. 78:48); of beasts of burden (Gen.
45:17); of eatable beasts (Prov. 9:2); and of swift beasts or
dromedaries (Isa. 60:6). In the New Testament it is used of a
domestic animal as property (Rev. 18:13); as used for food (1
Cor. 15:39), for service (Luke 10:34; Acts 23:24), and for
sacrifice (Acts 7:42).

When used in contradistinction to man (Ps. 36:6), it denotes a
brute creature generally, and when in contradistinction to
creeping things (Lev. 11:2-7; 27:26), a four-footed animal.

The Mosaic law required that beasts of labour should have rest
on the Sabbath (Ex. 20:10; 23:12), and in the Sabbatical year
all cattle were allowed to roam about freely, and eat whatever
grew in the fields (Ex. 23:11; Lev. 25:7). No animal could be
castrated (Lev. 22:24). Animals of different kinds were to be
always kept separate (Lev. 19:19; Deut. 22:10). Oxen when used
in threshing were not to be prevented from eating what was
within their reach (Deut. 25:4; 1 Cor.9:9).

This word is used figuratively of an infuriated multitude (1
Cor. 15:32; Acts 19:29; comp. Ps. 22:12, 16; Eccl. 3:18; Isa.
11:6-8), and of wicked men (2 Pet. 2:12). The four beasts of
Daniel 7:3, 17, 23 represent four kingdoms or kings.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Beast \Beast\, n. [OE. best, beste, OF. beste, F. b[^e]te, fr.
L. bestia.]
1. Any living creature; an animal; -- including man, insects,
etc. [Obs.] --Chaucer.

2. Any four-footed animal, that may be used for labor, food,
or sport; as, a beast of burden.

A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast.
--Prov. xii.

3. As opposed to {man}: Any irrational animal.

4. Fig.: A coarse, brutal, filthy, or degraded fellow.

5. A game at cards similar to loo. [Obs.] --Wright.

6. A penalty at beast, omber, etc. Hence: To be beasted, to
be beaten at beast, omber, etc.

{Beast royal}, the lion. [Obs.] --Chaucer.

Syn: {Beast}, {Brute}.

Usage: When we use these words in a figurative sense, as
applicable to human beings, we think of beasts as mere
animals governed by animal appetite; and of brutes as
being destitute of reason or moral feeling, and
governed by unrestrained passion. Hence we speak of
beastly appetites; beastly indulgences, etc.; and of
brutal manners; brutal inhumanity; brutal ferocity.
So, also, we say of a drunkard, that he first made
himself a beast, and then treated his family like a

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: a living organism characterized by voluntary movement [syn:
{animal}, {animate being}, {brute}, {creature}, {fauna}]
2: a cruelly rapacious person [syn: {wolf}, {savage}, {brute},

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