1. of, relating to, or having the form of a beast: the belief that a person could assume bestial form after death; the bestial signs of the zodiac.
  2. without reason or intelligence; brutal; inhuman: bestial treatment of prisoners.
  3. beastlike in gratifying one’s sensual desires; carnal; debased.


  1. brutal or savage
  2. sexually depraved; carnal
  3. lacking in refinement; brutish
  4. of or relating to a beast

late 14c., from Old French bestial (13c.) “relating to animals, stupid, foolish, bestial” and directly from Latin bestialis “like a beast,” from bestia (see beast). Sense of “below the dignity of a human” is from c.1400, and in many cases its use is unjust to the beasts.

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