1 [bee-ver]
noun, plural beavers (especially collectively) beaver for 1.
a large, amphibious rodent of the genus Castor, having sharp incisors, webbed hind feet, and a flattened tail, noted for its ability to dam streams with trees, branches, etc.
the fur of this animal.
a flat, round hat made of beaver fur or a similar fabric.
a tall, cylindrical hat for men, formerly made of beaver and now of a fabric simulating this fur. Compare opera hat, silk hat, top hat.
Informal. a full beard or a man wearing one.
Informal. an exceptionally active or hard-working person.
Slang: Vulgar.
a woman's pubic area.
Offensive. a term used to refer to a woman.
a cotton cloth with a thick nap, used chiefly in the manufacture of work clothes.
(formerly) a heavy, soft, woolen cloth with a thick nap, made to resemble beaver fur.
(initial capital letter) a native or inhabitant of Oregon, the Beaver State (used as a nickname).
verb (used without object)
British. to work very hard or industriously at something (usually followed by away ).

before 1000; Middle English bever, Old English beofor, befor; cognate with German Biber, Lithuanian bebrùs, Latin fiber, Sanskrit babhrús reddish brown, large ichneumon

beaverlike, beaverish, adjective

Beaver as a term for a woman is perceived as insulting because it refers to the female in sexual terms. However, in the 1970s, it was CB radio slang, neutral in connotation and even used by women themselves as a term of self-reference. Unabridged


2 [bee-ver]
noun Armor.
a piece of plate armor for covering the lower part of the face and throat, worn especially with an open helmet, as a sallet or basinet. Compare buffe, wrapper ( def 7 ).
a piece of plate armor, pivoted at the sides, forming part of a close helmet below the visor or ventail.

1400–50; late Middle English bavier, bavour < Middle French baviere (Old French: bib), equivalent to bave spit, dribble + -iere < Latin -āria, feminine of -ārius -ary; alteration of vowel in the initial syllable is unexplained Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
beaver1 (ˈbiːvə)
1.  a large amphibious rodent, Castor fiber, of Europe, Asia, and North America: family Castoridae. It has soft brown fur, a broad flat hairless tail, and webbed hind feet, and constructs complex dams and houses (lodges) in rivers
2.  the fur of this animal
3.  mountain beaver a burrowing rodent, Aplodontia rufa, of W North America: family Aplodontidae
4.  a tall hat of beaver fur or a fabric resembling it, worn, esp by men, during the 19th century
5.  a woollen napped cloth resembling beaver fur, formerly much used for overcoats, etc
6.  a greyish- or yellowish-brown
7.  obsolete a full beard
8.  a bearded man
9.  (modifier) having the colour of beaver or made of beaver fur or some similar material: a beaver lamb coat; a beaver stole
vb (usually foll by away)
10.  to work industriously or steadily
[Old English beofor; compare Old Norse biōrr, Old High German bibar, Latin fiber, Sanskrit babhrú red-brown]

beaver2 (ˈbiːvə)
a movable piece on a medieval helmet used to protect the lower part of the face
[C15: from Old French baviere, from baver to dribble]

Beaver (ˈbiːvə)
a member of a Beaver Colony, the youngest group of boys (aged 6--8 years) in the Scout Association

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. beofor (earlier bebr), from P.Gmc. *bebruz (cf. O.N. biorr, Low Ger. bever, O.H.G. bibar), from PIE *bhebhrus, reduplication of base *bhru- "brown" (cf. Lith. bebrus, Czech bobr, Welsh befer; see bear (n.) for reason for this). Gynecological sense ("female genitals, especially
with a display of pubic hair") is 1927 British slang, transferred from earlier meaning "a bearded man" (1910), from the appearance of split beaver pelts.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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