Word of the Day

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

bestiary

\BES-chee-er-ee, BEES-\ , noun;
1.
a collection of moralized fables, especially as written in the Middle Ages, about actual or mythical animals.
Quotes:
It was pieced together into no named pattern native to this country, not star flower or flying bird of churn dasher or poplar leaf, but was some entirely made-up bestiary or zodiac of half-visionary creatures.
-- Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain, 1997
An inexperienced heraldist resembles a medieval traveler who brings back from the East the faunal fantasies influenced by the domestic bestiary he possessed all along rather than by the results of direct zoological exploration.
-- Vladamir Nabokov, Speak, Memory, 1951
Origin:
Bestiary is from the Latin bestiaries meaning "a fighter against beasts in the public entertainments." It entered English in the 1620s.
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