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beef

[beef] /bif/
noun, plural beeves
[beevz] /bivz/ (Show IPA),
for 2; beefs for 4.
1.
the flesh of a cow, steer, or bull raised and killed for its meat.
2.
an adult cow, steer, or bull raised for its meat.
3.
Informal.
  1. brawn; muscular strength.
  2. strength; power.
  3. weight, as of a person.
  4. human flesh.
4.
Slang.
  1. a complaint.
  2. an argument or dispute.
verb (used without object)
5.
Slang. to complain; grumble.
Verb phrases
6.
beef up,
  1. to add strength, numbers, force, etc., to; strengthen:
    During the riots, the nighttime patrol force was beefed up with volunteers.
  2. to increase or add to:
    to beef up our fringe benefits.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; 1885-90 for def 5; Middle English < Anglo-French beof, Old French boef < Latin bov- (stem of bōs) ox, cow; akin to cow1
Related forms
beefless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for beef
  • If you don't have a lot of experience, you'll need to make that your secondary claim and try to beef it up as much as possible.
  • If your real beef is with spousal hires, then you might try that for a topic.
  • Well, they buy factory farmed beef, pay their workers a dismal salary and standardize everything.
  • What's more, the beef from corn-fed cows tends to have more fat.
  • We were supposed to eat less red meat because beef was bad for us.
  • If readers have a beef it is with the originators of the report he is referencing.
  • He began to envision coconuts as haystacks, ribeye beef joints as mountains and fortune cookies as folded rugs.
  • Consolingly, there were honey-dew melons, soft-shell crabs and prime roasts of beef.
  • They use quality beef, real potatoes and ice cream, and make every burger to order.
  • Usually filled with minced pork or a mixture of pork, beef and/or veal, it can also be made with other kinds of meat.
British Dictionary definitions for beef

beef

/biːf/
noun
1.
the flesh of various bovine animals, esp the cow, when killed for eating
2.
(pl) beeves (biːvz). an adult ox, bull, cow, etc, reared for its meat
3.
(informal) human flesh, esp when muscular
4.
(pl) beefs. a complaint
verb
5.
(intransitive) (slang) to complain, esp repeatedly: he was beefing about his tax
6.
(informal) (transitive) often foll by up. to strengthen; reinforce
Word Origin
C13: from Old French boef, from Latin bōs ox; see cow1
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 beef
n.

c.1300, from Old French buef "ox; beef; ox hide" (11c., Modern French boeuf), from Latin bovem (nominative bos, genitive bovis) "ox, cow," from PIE root *gwou- "cow, ox, bull" (see cow (n.)). Original plural was beeves.

v.

"to complain," slang, 1888, American English, from noun meaning "complaint" (1880s). The noun meaning "argument" is recorded from 1930s. The origin and signification are unclear; perhaps it traces to the common late 19c. complaint of U.S. soldiers about the quantity or quality of beef rations.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for beef

beef

noun
  1. A complaint; grievance: Her mother called up to register a beef (1890s+)
  2. A criminal charge or indictment: ''What was your beef, Jim?'' ''Robbery'' (1910+ Underworld)
  3. A quarrel; argument: I've got no beef with you, buddy (1930s+)
  4. A customer's bill or check; bad news, the DAMAGE (1930s+)
  5. Muscle; strength; huskiness (mid-1800s+)
  6. Bulkiness; fleshiness; mass: The old chorus girls had lots of beef, not like now (mid-1800s+)
  7. The penis (1890+)
verb
  1. : The hospital beefed when the city announced plans (1880s+)
  2. To quarrel: We started beefing with each other (1930s+)

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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Idioms and Phrases with beef

beef

In addition to the idiom beginning with beef also see: where's the beef
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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9
10
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