Bestiaries

bestiary

[bes-chee-er-ee, bees-]
noun, plural bestiaries.
a collection of moralized fables, especially as written in the Middle Ages, about actual or mythical animals.

Origin:
1615–25; < Medieval Latin bēstiārium, neuter of Latin bēstiārius. See beast, -ary

bestiarist [bes-chee-er-ist, -cher-, bees-] , noun
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World English Dictionary
bestiary (ˈbɛstɪərɪ)
 
n , pl -aries
a moralizing medieval collection of descriptions (and often illustrations) of real and mythical animals

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

bestiary
"medieval treatise on beasts (usually with moralistic overtones)," 1834, from M.L. bestiarium, from bestia (see beast). A Latin term for such works was liber de bestiis compositus.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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