Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “animal”

animal

noun [C]  /ˈæn·ə·məl/ us  

animal noun [C] (LIVING THING)

a living thing that can move and eat and react to the world through its senses, esp. of sight and hearing: Mammals, insects, reptiles, and birds are all animals. In ordinary use, animal means all living beings except humans: A lion is a wild animal, and a dog is a domestic animal. Tests of the drug were done on laboratory animals. An animal is also a person who likes something or does something more than most people do: a party animal He’s the most political animal on the city council.

animal noun [C] (GROUP)

biology    /ˈæn·ə·məl/ [U] one of five kingdoms (= groups) into which living things are divided, the members of which have many cells, have the ability to control their own movement, and get their energy from eating rather than from the light of the sun

animal

adjective [not gradable]  /ˈæn·ə·məl/ us  

animal adjective [not gradable] (PHYSICAL)

relating to physical needs or desires, such as to eat or reproduce: Animal instincts apply to all animals, including humans.
(Definition of animal from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of animal?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More American English definitions for “animal”

Definitions of “animal” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

aptitude

a natural ability or skill

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More