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animal

[an-uh-muh l] /ˈæn ə məl/
noun
1.
any member of the kingdom Animalia, comprising multicellular organisms that have a well-defined shape and usually limited growth, can move voluntarily, actively acquire food and digest it internally, and have sensory and nervous systems that allow them to respond rapidly to stimuli: some classification schemes also include protozoa and certain other single-celled eukaryotes that have motility and animallike nutritional modes.
2.
any such living thing other than a human being.
3.
a mammal, as opposed to a fish, bird, etc.
4.
the physical, sensual, or carnal nature of human beings; animality:
the animal in every person.
5.
an inhuman person; brutish or beastlike person:
She married an animal.
6.
thing:
A perfect job? Is there any such animal?
adjective
7.
of, pertaining to, or derived from animals:
animal instincts; animal fats.
8.
pertaining to the physical, sensual, or carnal nature of humans, rather than their spiritual or intellectual nature:
animal needs.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English (< Old French) < Latin, noun derivative (with loss of final vowel and shortening of ā) of animāle, neuter of animālis living, animate, equivalent to anim(a) air, breath + -ālis -al1; E adj. also directly < Latin animālis
Related forms
animalic
[an-uh-mal-ik] /ˌæn əˈmæl ɪk/ (Show IPA),
animalian
[an-uh-mey-lee-uh n, -meyl-yuh n] /ˌæn əˈmeɪ li ən, -ˈmeɪl yən/ (Show IPA),
adjective
nonanimal, noun, adjective
semianimal, noun, adjective
superanimal, adjective
Synonyms
1, 2. Animal, beast, brute refer to sentient creatures as distinct from minerals and plants; figuratively, they usually connote qualities and characteristics below the human level. Animal is the general word; figuratively, it applies merely to the body or to animal-like characteristics: An athlete is a magnificent animal. Beast refers to four-footed animals; figuratively, it suggests a base, sensual nature: A glutton is a beast. Brute implies absence of ability to reason; figuratively, it connotes savagery as well: a drunken brute. 5. monster. 8. fleshly, physical; beastly, brutal. See carnal.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for animal
  • animal rights advocates present a compelling vision of a more moral world.
  • If there is human empathy, and no one really doubts that, there should be animal precursors.
  • But results from animal experiments demonstrate their tantalising potential.
  • Get better acquainted with our closest relatives in the animal kingdom.
  • There seems to be an explosion of concern over animal welfare these days.
  • Though he concedes it might happen, he has never seen an animal with sunburn peel.
  • With animal heads adorning the wood-paneled walls and lanterns lighting your table, the place packs unbeatable charm.
  • Imagine a human-free future, where giant animal skeletons have taken over the homes and buildings civilization has left behind.
  • Eat fewer animal products and pay heed to animal welfare labels.
  • The language of the new animal studies is another case in point.
British Dictionary definitions for animal

animal

/ˈænɪməl/
noun
1.
(zoology) any living organism characterized by voluntary movement, the possession of cells with noncellulose cell walls and specialized sense organs enabling rapid response to stimuli, and the ingestion of complex organic substances such as plants and other animals related prefix zoo-
2.
any mammal, esp any mammal except man
3.
a brutish person
4.
(facetious) a person or thing (esp in the phrase no such animal)
5.
(Austral, informal) a very dirty car
adjective
6.
of, relating to, or derived from animals animal products, an animal characteristic
7.
of or relating to the physical needs or desires; carnal; sensual
Word Origin
C14: from Latin animal (n), from animālis (adj) living, breathing; see anima
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for animal
n.

early 14c. (but rare before c.1600, and not in KJV, 1611), "any living creature" (including humans), from Latin animale "living being, being which breathes," neuter of animalis "animate, living; of the air," from anima "breath, soul; a current of air" (see animus, and cf. deer). Drove out the older beast in common usage. Used of brutish humans from 1580s.

adj.

late 14c., from animal (n.). Animal rights is attested from 1879; animal liberation from 1973. Animal magnetism originally (1784) referred to mesmerism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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animal in Medicine

animal an·i·mal (ān'ə-məl)
n.

  1. A multicellular organism with membranous cell walls 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.

  2. An animal organism other than a human, especially a mammal.

  3. A human considered with respect to his or her physical, as opposed to spiritual, nature.

adj.
  1. Relating to, characteristic of, or derived from an animal or animals.

  2. Relating to the physical as distinct from the spiritual nature of humans.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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animal in Science
animal
  (ān'ə-məl)   
Any of the multicellular organisms belonging to the kingdom Animalia. All animals are eukaryotes, with each of their cells having a nucleus containing DNA. Most animals develop from a blastula and have a digestive tract, nervous system, the ability to move voluntarily, and specialized sensory organs for recognizing and responding to stimuli in the environment. Animals are heterotrophs, feeding on plants, other animals, or organic matter. The first animals probably evolved from protists and appeared during the Precambrian Era.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for animal

animal

noun

A brutal or aggressive person, esp one given to excessive sexuality or violence (1940s+ Army & students)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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animal in the Bible

an organized living creature endowed with sensation. The Levitical law divided animals into clean and unclean, although the distinction seems to have existed before the Flood (Gen. 7:2). The clean could be offered in sacrifice and eaten. All animals that had not cloven hoofs and did not chew the cud were unclean. The list of clean and unclean quadrupeds is set forth in the Levitical law (Deut. 14:3-20; Lev. 11).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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