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

  • n. An imaginary or legendary creature, such as a centaur or Harpy, that combines parts from various animal or human forms.
  • n. A creature having a strange or frightening appearance.
  • n. An animal, a plant, or other organism having structural defects or deformities.
  • n. Pathology A fetus or an infant that is grotesquely abnormal and usually not viable.
  • n. A very large animal, plant, or object.
  • n. One who inspires horror or disgust: a monster of selfishness.
  • adj. Informal Extremely large; monstrous: a monster hit at the box office; ate a monster steak.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A terrifying and dangerous, wild or fictional creature.
  • n. A bizarre or whimsical creature.
  • n. An extremely cruel or antisocial person, especially a criminal.
  • n. A horribly deformed person.
  • n. A badly behaved child, a brat.
  • n. Something unusually large.
  • n. A prodigy; someone very talented in a specific domain.
  • adj. Very large; worthy of a monster.
  • v. To make into a monster; to categorise as a monster; to demonise.
  • v. To behave as a monster to; to terrorise.
  • v. To harass.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Something of unnatural size, shape, or quality; a prodigy; an enormity; a marvel.
  • n. Specifically , an animal or plant departing greatly from the usual type, as by having too many limbs.
  • n. Any thing or person of unnatural or excessive ugliness, deformity, wickedness, or cruelty.
  • adj. Monstrous in size.
  • adj. Enormous or very powerful.
  • transitive v. To make monstrous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Anything extraordinary, supernatural, or wonderful; a thing to be wondered at; a prodigy.
  • n. A fabulous animal of grotesque or chimerical figure and often of huge size, compounded of human and brute shape, or of the shapes of various brutes, as the sagittary, centaur, sphinx, mermaid, minotaur, griffin, manticore, etc.
  • n. Any very large animal; anything unusually large of its kind.
  • n. An animal or a plant of abnormal form or structure; any living monstrosity.
  • n. A person regarded with horror because of his moral deformity, or his propensity to commit revolting or unnatural crimes.
  • n. Something unnatural and horrible.
  • n. An example: a pattern.
  • Of inordinate size or numbers: as, a monster gun; a monster meeting.
  • To exhibit; show; muster. See muster.
  • To make monstrous; exaggerate or magnify extravagantly.

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

  • n. (medicine) a grossly malformed and usually nonviable fetus
  • n. a person or animal that is markedly unusual or deformed
  • n. a cruel wicked and inhuman person
  • n. someone or something that is abnormally large and powerful
  • n. an imaginary creature usually having various human and animal parts


Middle English monstre, from Old French, from Latin mōnstrum, portent, monster, from monēre, to warn; see men-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English and Middle French monstre, itself from Latin monstrum. (Wiktionary)



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