- The definition of an animal is a member of the kingdom Animalia, and is typically characterized by a multicellular body, specialized sense organs, voluntary movement, responses to factors in the environment and the ability to acquire and digest food.
A horse, lion and human are each an example of an animal.
Both the girls and the horse are animals.
- any of a kingdom (Animalia) of eukaryotes generally characterized by a multicellular body, the ability to move quickly and obtain food, specialized sense organs, and sexual reproduction
- any such organism other than a human being, esp. a mammal or, often, any four-footed creature
- a brutish, debased, or inhuman person
- Informal a person, thing, concept, etc. thought of as a kind or type: today's athlete is another animal altogether
Origin of animalClassical Latin living being ; from anima, animus, breath, air, life principle, soul ; from Indo-European base an unverified form an(e)-, to breathe, exhale from source Classical Greek anemos, Sanskrit anilas, wind, breath, Old English antha, excitement, anger
- of, like, or derived from animals
- physical rather than mental or spiritual; specif., sensual, gross, bestial, etc.
- Any of numerous multicellular eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Metazoa (or Animalia) that ingest food rather than manufacturing it themselves and are usually able to move about during at least part of their life cycle. Sponges, jellyfishes, flatworms, mollusks, arthropods, and vertebrates are animals.
- An animal organism other than a human, especially a mammal.
- A person who behaves in a bestial or brutish manner.
- A human considered with respect to his or her physical nature, as opposed to rational or spiritual nature.
- A person having a specified aptitude or set of interests: “that rarest of musical animals, an instrumentalist who is as comfortable on a podium with a stick as he is playing his instrument” (Lon Tuck).
- Relating to, characteristic of, or derived from an animal or animals, especially when not human: animal cells; animal welfare.
- Relating to the physical as distinct from the rational or spiritual nature of people: animal instincts and desires.
Origin of animalMiddle English, from Latin, from animāle, neuter of animālis, living, from anima, soul; see an&schwa;- in Indo-European roots.
- In scientific usage, a multicellular organism that is usually mobile, whose cells are not encased in a rigid cell wall (distinguishing it from plants and fungi) and which derives energy solely from the consumption of other organisms (distinguishing it from plants).
- A cat is an animal, not a plant. Humans are also animals, under the scientific definition, as we are not plants.
- In non-scientific usage, any member of the kingdom Animalia other than a human being.
- In non-scientific usage, any land-living vertebrate (i.e. not birds, fishes, insects etc.).
- (figuratively) A person who behaves wildly; a bestial, brutal, brutish, cruel, or inhuman person.
- My students are animals.
- (informal) A person of a particular type.
- a political animal
From Middle English animal, from Old French animal, from Latin animal, a nominal use of an adjective from animale, neuter of animalis, from anima (“breath, spirit”). Displaced native Middle English deor, der (“animal”) (from Old English dēor (“animal”)), Middle English reother (“animal, neat”) (from Old English hrīþer, hrȳþer (“neat, ox”)).
- Of or relating to animals.
- animal instincts
- Raw, base, unhindered by social codes.
- animal passions
- Pertaining to the spirit or soul; relating to sensation or innervation.
- 2003, To explain what activated the flesh, ‘animal spirits’ were posited, superfine fluids which shuttled between the mind and the vitals, conveying messages and motion. — Roy Porter, Flesh in the Age of Reason (Penguin 2004, p. 47)
- (slang, Ireland) Excellent.