from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A full-grown steer, bull, ox, or cow, especially one intended for use as meat.
  • noun The flesh of a slaughtered full-grown steer, bull, ox, or cow.
  • noun Informal Human muscle; brawn.
  • noun Slang A complaint.
  • intransitive verb To complain.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An animal of the bovine genus, whether ox, bull, or cow, in the full-grown state.
  • noun The flesh of an ox, bull, or cow when killed.
  • noun A name given by quarrymen to certain beds of fibrous carbonate of lime occurring in England in the middle division of the Purbeck series, the highest part of the Jurassic.
  • noun Brawn; muscularity; weight and strength combined: as, the crew is lacking in beef.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An animal of the genus Bos, especially the common species, Bos taurus, including the bull, cow, and ox, in their full grown state; esp., an ox or cow fattened for food.
  • noun The flesh of an ox, or cow, or of any adult bovine animal, when slaughtered for food.
  • noun Applied colloquially to human flesh.
  • adjective Of, pertaining to, or resembling, beef.
  • adjective essence of beef, or strong beef broth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable The meat from a cow, bull or other bovines.
  • noun uncountable Bovine animals.
  • noun archaic, countable, plural: beef or beeves A single bovine (cow or bull) being raised for its meat.
  • noun plural: beefs a complaint or disagreement
  • noun Muscle, effort, force.
  • verb intransitive To complain.
  • verb transitive To add weight or strength to, usually as beef up.
  • verb intransitive, slang To fart.
  • verb intransitive (chiefly Yorkshire) To cry
  • adjective Being a bovine animal that is being raised for its meat.
  • adjective Producing or known for raising lots of beef.
  • adjective Consisting of or containing beef as an ingredient.

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

  • verb complain
  • noun meat from an adult domestic bovine
  • noun informal terms for objecting
  • noun cattle that are reared for their meat


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

[Middle English, from Old French buef, from Latin bōs, bov-; see gwou- in Indo-European roots.]


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  • Taken at Yorktown, "900 barrels of beef and pork." A week or two later, the report added an additional "96 barrels beef, (weight) 20,190 lb."

    October 29, 2007