beef

beef (bēf)
n. pl. beeves (bēvz) or beef 1) a) A full-grown steer, bull, ox, or cow, especially one intended for use as meat. b) The flesh of a slaughtered full-grown steer, bull, ox, or cow. 2) Informal Human muscle; brawn. 3) pl. beefs Slang A complaint.
intr.v. beefed, beef·ing, beefs Slang To complain.
Phrasal Verb:
beef up Informal To make or become greater or stronger: »

beef up the defense budget.

[Middle English, from Old French buef, from Latin bōs, bov-; see gwou-.]
Word History: As has often been remarked, the great social disparities of medieval European society are revealed by the Modern English words for different sorts of meat. In medieval England, meats like beef, pork, veal, and mutton were presumably more often eaten by the educated and wealthy classes—most of whom could speak French or at least admired French culture—and the Modern English terms for these meats are uniformly of French origin. (The French sources of the English words are now spelled bœuf, porc, veau, and mouton, and the French words can refer both to the animal and to the meat it provides.) The English-speaking peasants who actually raised the animals—and who presumably subsisted on mostly vegetarian fare—continued to use the original Germanic words ox, swine, calf, and sheep when talking in the barnyard, and so the animals themselves have kept their native names to this day. One such Germanic word is actually related etymologically to its French counterpart. Cow comes from Old English cū, which is descended from the Indo-European root *gwou-, "cow." This root has descendants in most of the branches of the Indo-European language family. Among those descendants is the Latin word bōs, "cow," whose stem form, bov-, eventually became the Old French word buef, the source of English beef.

Word Histories. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Beef —    , BEEF STROGANOFF, BEEF WELLINGTON, GHATEAUBRIAND    Beef has been a standard food for many, many centuries. The eating of beef was mentioned in the Greek epics the Iliad and the Odyssey. King James II reportedly was so delighted by a roast… …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • Beef — (b[=e]f), a. Of, pertaining to, or resembling, beef. [1913 Webster] {Beef tea}, essence of beef, or strong beef broth. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Beef — (engl. für Streit) bedeutet im Hip Hop Jargon eine aggressive Auseinandersetzung zwischen zwei Rappern, oft auch unterstützt durch andere Künstler ihres Plattenlabels, die offen über die Medien und im speziellen über die Musikveröffentlichungen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • beef — beef; beef·burg·er; beef·less; beef·alo; beef·er; …   English syllables

  • beef|y — «BEE fee», adjective, beef|i|er, beef|i|est. 1. Figurative. strong, solid, and heavy: »a beefy wrestler. 2. like beef: »a beefy taste …   Useful english dictionary

  • Beef — (b[=e]f), n. [OE. boef, befe, beef, OF. boef, buef, F. b[oe]ef, fr. L. bos, bovis, ox; akin to Gr. boy^s, Skr. g[=o] cow, and E. cow. See 2d {Cow}.] 1. An animal of the genus {Bos}, especially the common species, {Bos taurus}, including the bull …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Beef — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Un beef (también denominado plex) es un término dentro del hip hop que se usa para determinar un feudo o controversia entre dos raperos creando una rivalidad en la que cada uno difama y se enfrenta al otro de… …   Wikipedia Español

  • beef — s. n. v. rosbif / roast beef. Trimis de gall, 12.01.2008. Sursa: DOOM 2  rósbif / (angl.) roast beef [pron. rắŭstbif] s.n., pl. rósbifuri / roast beefuri Trimis de gall, 19.11.2007. Sursa: DOOM 2 …   Dicționar Român

  • beef up — (v.) add strength, 1941, from college slang, from BEEF (Cf. beef) (n.) in slang sense of muscle power (1851) …   Etymology dictionary

  • beef|a|lo — «BEE fuh loh», noun, plural loes or los. U.S. any one of a breed of beef cattle developed by interbreeding Herefords and Charolaises with buffaloes. ╂[blend of beef and buffalo] …   Useful english dictionary

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