Definitions

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

  • noun A book consisting of a collection of descriptions of real and fabulous animals, often including a moral or allegorical interpretation of each animal's behavior. Bestiaries were particularly popular in medieval Europe.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A fighter with wild beasts in the ancient Roman amphitheater.
  • noun A name formerly sometimes given to a book treating of animals.

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

  • noun A treatise on beasts; esp., one of the moralizing or allegorical beast tales written in the Middle Ages.

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

  • noun A medieval treatise of various real or imaginary animals.

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

  • noun a medieval book (usually illustrated) with allegorical and amusing descriptions of real and fabled animals

Etymologies

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

[Medieval Latin bēstiārium, from Latin bēstia, beast.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French bestiaire, from Latin bēstia ("beast, animal") (whence English beast).

Examples

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