from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Any insect belonging to the order Coleoptera (which see).
  • noun A heavy wooden mallet, used to drive wedges, consolidate earth, etc.
  • noun A wooden pestle-shaped utensil used for mashing potatoes, for beating linen, etc.
  • noun Same as beetling-machine.
  • To use a beetle on; beat with a heavy wooden mallet, as linen or cotton cloth, as a substitute for mangling.
  • To finish cloth by means of a beetling-machine.
  • Shaggy; prominent: used in beetle brow (also written beetle-brow).
  • To be prominent; extend out; overhang; jut.

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

  • intransitive verb To extend over and beyond the base or support; to overhang; to jut.
  • transitive verb To beat with a heavy mallet.
  • transitive verb To finish by subjecting to a hammering process in a beetle or beetling machine.
  • noun Any insect of the order Coleoptera, having four wings, the outer pair being stiff cases for covering the others when they are folded up. See coleoptera.
  • noun (Zoöl.) one of many species of mites, of the family Oribatidæ, parasitic on beetles.
  • noun the common large black cockroach (Blatta orientalis).
  • noun A heavy mallet, used to drive wedges, beat pavements, etc.
  • noun A machine in which fabrics are subjected to a hammering process while passing over rollers, as in cotton mills; -- called also beetling machine.

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

  • noun Any of numerous species of insect in the order Coleoptera characterized by a pair of hard, shell-like front wings which cover and protect a pair of rear wings when at rest.
  • verb To move away quickly, to scurry away.
  • verb To loom over; to extend or jut.
  • noun A type of mallet with a large wooden head.

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

  • verb be suspended over or hang over
  • adjective jutting or overhanging
  • noun a tool resembling a hammer but with a large head (usually wooden); used to drive wedges or ram down paving stones or for crushing or beating or flattening or smoothing
  • verb beat with a beetle
  • verb fly or go in a manner resembling a beetle
  • noun insect having biting mouthparts and front wings modified to form horny covers overlying the membranous rear wings


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English bitle, bityl, bytylle, from Old English bitula, bitela, bītel ("beetle"), from Proto-Germanic *bitulaz (“that which tends to bite, biter, beetle”), equivalent to bite +‎ -le. Cognate with Danish bille ("beetle"), Icelandic bitil, bitul ("a bite, bit").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English betel, from Old English bīetel, akin to bēatan ("to beat")


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  • Someday I will name my cat beetle.

    December 6, 2006

  • An adjective used almost exclusively to describe one of two verbs: cliff and brow.

    November 8, 2007

  • See splitting maul

    February 6, 2008

  • But just then the moon, sailing through the black clouds, appeared behind the jagged crest of a beetling, pine-clad rock, and by its light I saw around us a ring of wolves, with white teeth and lolling red tongues, with long, sinewy limbs and shaggy hair. - Dracula

    March 15, 2009

  • "To make one's way or move like a beetle: "Chambermaids . . . beetled from bedroom to bedroom loaded with . . . champagne” ( Vanity Fair)."

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

    September 18, 2014