hero of the Old English folk epic of that name, an Anglian poem probably composed during the first half of the 8th cent.
< ?; prob. understood in OE as beo, bee + wulf, wolf, hence as a kenning for “bear”
See Beowulf in American Heritage Dictionary 4
An anonymous Old English epic poem believed to have been composed in the early eighth century, principally concerning the exploits of the warrior Beowulf and containing historical and legendary tales about the Geats, Danes, and other older Germanic peoples.
The legendary hero of this epic, who slays the monster Grendel and its mother, becomes king of the Geats, and dies fighting a dragon.