Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A multicellular organism 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.
  • n. An animal organism other than a human, especially a mammal.
  • n. A person who behaves in a bestial or brutish manner.
  • n. A human considered with respect to his or her physical, as opposed to spiritual, nature.
  • n. A person having a specified aptitude or set of interests: "that rarest of musical animals, an instrumentalist who is as comfortable on a podium with a stick as he is playing his instrument” ( Lon Tuck).
  • adj. Relating to, characteristic of, or derived from an animal or animals: animal fat.
  • adj. Relating to the physical as distinct from the spiritual nature of people: animal instincts and desires.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or relating to animals.
  • adj. Raw, base, unhindered by social codes.
  • adj. Pertaining to the spirit or soul; relating to sensation or innervation.
  • adj. Excellent.
  • n. In scientific usage, a multicellular organism that is usually mobile, whose cells are not encased in a rigid cell wall (distinguishing it from plants and fungi) and which derives energy solely from the consumption of other organisms (distinguishing it from plants).
  • n. In non-scientific usage, any member of the kingdom Animalia other than a human being.
  • n. In non-scientific usage, any land-living vertebrate (i.e. not birds, fishes, insects etc)
  • n. A person who behaves wildly; a bestial, brutal, brutish, cruel, or inhuman person.
  • n. A person of a particular type.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or relating to animals.
  • adj. Pertaining to the merely sentient part of a creature, as distinguished from the intellectual, rational, or spiritual part.
  • adj. Consisting of the flesh of animals.
  • n. An organized living being endowed with sensation and the power of voluntary motion, and also characterized by taking its food into an internal cavity or stomach for digestion; by giving carbonic acid to the air and taking oxygen in the process of respiration; and by increasing in motive power or active aggressive force with progress to maturity.
  • n. One of the lower animals; a brute or beast, as distinguished from man.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to sensation. See animal spirits, below.
  • Having life; living; animate.
  • Pertaining to the merely sentient part of a living being, as distinguished from the intellectual, rational, or spiritual part; of man, pertaining to those parts of his nature which he shares with inferior animals.
  • Of, pertaining to, or derived from animals.
  • n. A sentient living being; an individual, organized, animated, and sentient portion of matter; in zoology, one of the Animalia; a member of the animal kingdom, as distinguished from a vegetable or a mineral.
  • n. An inferior or irrational sentient being, in contradistinction to man; a brute; a beast: as, men and animals.
  • n. A contemptuous term for a human being in whom the animal nature has the ascendancy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. marked by the appetites and passions of the body
  • n. a living organism characterized by voluntary movement

Etymologies

Middle English, from Latin, from animāle, neuter of animālis, living, from anima, soul; see anə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English animal, from Old French animal, from Latin animal, a nominal use of an adjective from animale, neuter of animalis, from anima ("breath, spirit"). Displaced native Middle English deor, der ("animal") (from Old English dēor ("animal")), Middle English reother ("animal, neat") (from Old English hrīþer, hrȳþer ("neat, ox")). (Wiktionary)
From Latin animalis, from either anima ("breath, spirit") or animus. Originally distinct from the noun, it became associated with attributive use of the noun and is now indistinguishable from it. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Quality and quantity, then, do not function like genera, for a genus is signified by any predicate that expresses what a subject is (e.g., in the sentence, ˜Man is an animal,™ ˜animal™ is the genus of man), and categories do not function in this way.

    Medieval Theories of the Categories

  • An attentive consideration will, however, show the enquirer, that to distinguish man from the remainder of the animal kingdom by his structural characteristics alone, is not so easy a task as would at first sight appear; and he will be obliged at length to return to some such humiliating designation of the _genus animal_, _species homo_, as those above given.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 347, September, 1844

  • Man, according to the old scholastic definition, is "a rational animal" (_animal rationale_), and his animality is distinct in nature from his rationality, though inseparably joined, during life, in one common personality.

    On the Genesis of Species

  • I could make nothing of it and asked her again -- "What _is_ deresf?" to which she gave the explanation: "ein tir." (tier = animal) "_An animal_? but I don't know the name! have you heard of it?"

    Lola or, The Thought and Speech of Animals

  • Popanilla then went on to show that the hitherto received definitions of man were all erroneous; that man is neither a walking animal, nor a talking animal, nor a cooking animal, nor a lounging animal, nor a debt-incurring animal, nor a tax-paying animal, nor a printing animal, nor a puffing animal, but a _developing animal_.

    English Satires

  • It is from the superficial covering, the thin crust with which the earth is covered, composed of the remains of former existence, of the breccia of exhausted nature, that animal creation derives its support; and it is the grand axiom of the universe, that _animal life can only be supported by animal remains_.

    The King's Own

  • Oh yeah the old human vs animal argument (humans are animals btw, scientists recognize this so we all should), i suppose you are the sort that says * its only an animal*.

    Original Signal - Transmitting Digg

  • "_hearing the animal speak within the animal_" (if I may so put it), rather than its "human connexion."

    Lola or, The Thought and Speech of Animals

  • The non]violent religious practices of Vaishnavs (who did not practice animal sacrifice, for example) could meet the violence associated with Shakta mother]worship (animal]worship was almost mandatory in Shakta festivals) under the aegis of a new Hindu "wartime" philosophy.

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • Rescue dogs come to us with blurry or non-existent histories, and it takes a practiced eye to figure out that a certain animal is food aggressive, or was used to free-feeding (having a full bowl provided every morning, and nibbling throughout the day), or that a jumping habit was taught rather than instinctive.

    All Things Girl » All Things Girl » Blog Archive » Sound Advice: Choosing a Dog Trainer

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