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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

Beowulf

[bey-uh-woo lf] /ˈbeɪ əˌwʊlf/
noun
1.
(italics) an English alliterative epic poem, probably written in the early 8th century a.d.
2.
the hero of this poem.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for Beowulf
  • It is widely accepted that there are three funerals in Beowulf.
British Dictionary definitions for Beowulf

Beowulf

/ˈbeɪəˌwʊlf/
noun
1.
an anonymous Old English epic poem in alliterative verse, believed to have been composed in the 8th century a.d
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 Beowulf

Old English beo wulf, literally "bee-wolf," "a wolf to bees;" a kenning for "bear." See bee (n.) + wolf (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Beowulf in Culture
Beowulf [(bay-uh-woolf)]

An epic in Old English, estimated as dating from as early as the eighth century; the earliest long work of literature in English. The critical events are the slaying of the monster Grendel and Grendel's mother by the hero Beowulf and Beowulf's battle with a dragon, in which he is mortally wounded.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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