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beetle1

[beet-l] /ˈbit l/
noun
1.
any of numerous insects of the order Coleoptera, characterized by hard, horny forewings that cover and protect the membranous flight wings.
2.
(loosely) any of various insects resembling the beetle, as a cockroach.
verb (used without object), beetled, beetling.
3.
Chiefly British. to move quickly; scurry:
He beetled off to catch the train.
Origin
late Middle English
900
before 900; late Middle English betylle, bityl, Old English bitela (bitel- biting (bit- bite + -el adj. suffix) + -a noun suffix)

beetle2

[beet-l] /ˈbit l/
noun
1.
a heavy hammering or ramming instrument, usually of wood, used to drive wedges, force down paving stones, compress loose earth, etc.
2.
any of various wooden instruments for beating linen, mashing potatoes, etc.
verb (used with object), beetled, beetling.
3.
to use a beetle on; drive, ram, beat, or crush with a beetle.
4.
to finish (cloth) with a beetling machine.
Origin
before 900; Middle English betel, Old English bētl, bȳtel hammer (cognate with Middle Low German bētel chisel), equivalent to bē(a)t- beat + -il noun suffix
Related forms
beetler, noun

beetle3

[beet-l] /ˈbit l/
adjective
1.
projecting; overhanging:
beetle brows.
verb (used without object), beetled, beetling.
2.
to project; jut out; overhang:
a cliff that beetles over the sea.
3.
to hang or tower over in a threatening or menacing manner:
The prospect of bankruptcy beetled over him.
Origin
1325-75; Middle English; back formation from beetle-browed
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for beetle
  • As long as a weaver's beam was each of her two shins, and they were as dark as the back of a stag-beetle.
  • Obviously it doesn't matter that much if you're a beetle, that you be really smart.
  • These spiral generators scavenge power when the beetle beats its wings.
  • beetle larva lures and kills frogs, while the adult hunts and paralyses.
  • He'd been arguing with entomologists for several months, disputing their beetle theory.
  • Straightening up, he rubs his shoe across the carpet, as if crushing a beetle.
  • Starting with her photo of a red beetle, she overlaid a shot of a concrete wall to create the textured surface of the final image.
  • As the beetle moves on top of the dung ball, it is checking the position of the sun to help it navigate.
  • The heat weakened the trees, making them susceptible to bark beetle invasions, he explained.
  • It was big and growing, feeding on dead and dying trees-the result of bark beetle infestation.
British Dictionary definitions for beetle

beetle1

/ˈbiːtəl/
noun
1.
any insect of the order Coleoptera, having biting mouthparts and forewings modified to form shell-like protective elytra related adjective coleopteran
2.
a game played with dice in which the players draw or assemble a beetle-shaped form
verb (intransitive; foll by along, off, etc)
3.
(informal) to scuttle or scurry; hurry
Word Origin
Old English bitela; related to bitol teeth, bit, bītan to bite

beetle2

/ˈbiːtəl/
noun
1.
a heavy hand tool, usually made of wood, used for ramming, pounding, or beating
2.
a machine used to finish cloth by stamping it with wooden hammers
verb (transitive)
3.
to beat or pound with a beetle
4.
to finish (cloth) by means of a beetle
Word Origin
Old English bīetel, from bēatan to beat; related to Middle Low German bētel chisel, Old Norse beytill penis

beetle3

/ˈbiːtəl/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to overhang; jut
adjective
2.
overhanging; prominent
Derived Forms
beetling, adjective
Word Origin
C14: perhaps related to beetle1
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 beetle
n.

type of insect, Old English bitela "beetle," literally "little biter," from bitel "biting," related to bitan "to bite" (see bite). As a nickname for the original Volkswagen car, 1946, translating German Käfer.

beating tool, Old English bietel, from Proto-Germanic *bautilo-z, from *bautan "to beat" (see beat (v.)).

v.

"project, overhang," c.1600, back-formation from bitelbrouwed "grim-browed, sullen" (mid-14c.), from bitel "sharp-edged, sharp" (c.1200), probably a compound from Old English *bitol "biting, sharp," related to bite, + brow, which in Middle English meant "eyebrow," not "forehead." Meaning "to overhang dangerously" (of cliffs, etc.) is from c.1600. Related: Beetled; beetling.

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

beetle

noun
  1. A girl; young woman: We could find plenty of nice beetles to rub ourselves against (1920s+)
  2. A racehorse; roach: some beetle whose neck will feel the caress of a floral horseshoe (1930s+ Horse racing)
  3. Trademark of a model of Volkswagen car, with a squat body curving down at front and rear (mid-1940s+)

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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beetle in the Bible

(Heb. hargol, meaning "leaper"). Mention of it is made only in Lev. 11:22, where it is obvious the word cannot mean properly the beetle. It denotes some winged creeper with at least four feet, "which has legs above its feet, to leap withal." The description plainly points to the locust (q.v.). This has been an article of food from the earliest times in the East to the present day. The word is rendered "cricket" in the Revised Version.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Article for beetle

any member of the insect order Coleoptera, consisting of the beetles and weevils. It is the largest order of insects, representing about 40 percent of the known insect species. Among the over 350,000 species of Coleoptera are many of the largest and most conspicuous insects, some of which also have brilliant metallic colours, showy patterns, or striking form. Beetles can usually be recognized by their two pairs of wings; the front pair is modified into horny covers (elytra) that hide the rear pair and most of the abdomen and usually meet down the back in a straight line. Coleoptera occur in nearly all climates. They may be divided into four groups: the first three, the Archostemata, the Adephaga, and the Myxophaga, contain relatively few families; the majority of beetles are placed in the fourth group, the Polyphaga.

Learn more about beetle with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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