beefs up

beef

[beef]
noun, plural beeves [beevz] , 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.
a.
brawn; muscular strength.
b.
strength; power.
c.
weight, as of a person.
d.
human flesh.
4.
Slang.
a.
a complaint.
b.
an argument or dispute.
verb (used without object)
5.
Slang. to complain; grumble.
Verb phrases
6.
beef up,
a.
to add strength, numbers, force, etc., to; strengthen: During the riots, the nighttime patrol force was beefed up with volunteers.
b.
to increase or add to: to beef up our fringe benefits.

Origin:
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

beefless, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
beef (biːf)
 
n , beeves, beefs
1.  the flesh of various bovine animals, esp the cow, when killed for eating
2.  an adult ox, bull, cow, etc, reared for its meat
3.  informal human flesh, esp when muscular
4.  a complaint
 
vb (often foll by up)
5.  slang (intr) to complain, esp repeatedly: he was beefing about his tax
6.  informal to strengthen; reinforce
 
[C13: from Old French boef, from Latin bōs ox; see cow1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

beef
c.1300, from O.Fr. buef (11c., Mod.Fr. boeuf), from L. bovem (nom. bos, gen. bovis) "ox, cow," from PIE base *gwou- "cow, ox, bull" (see cow (n.)). Original plural was beeves.

beef
"to complain," slang, 1888, Amer.Eng., 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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