animal definition, meaning - what is animal in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “animal”

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animal

noun [C] uk   us   /ˈæn.ɪ.məl/

animal noun [C] (CREATURE)

A1 something that lives and moves but is not a human, bird, fish, or insect: wild/domestic animals Both children are real animal lovers. Surveys show that animal welfare has recently become a major concern for many schoolchildren.B2 anything that lives and moves, including people, birds, etc.: Humans, insects, reptiles, birds, and mammals are all animals.
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animal noun [C] (BAD PERSON)

informal an unpleasant, cruel person or someone who behaves badly: He's a real animal when he's had too much to drink.

animal noun [C] (TYPE)

used to describe what type of person or thing someone or something is: At heart she is a political animal. She is that rare animal (= she is very unusual), a brilliant scientist who can communicate her ideas to ordinary people. Feminism in France and England are rather different animals (= are different).

animal

adjective uk   us   /ˈæn.ɪ.məl/

animal adjective (FROM ANIMALS)

made or obtained from an animal or animals: animal products animal fat/skins relating to, or taking the form of, an animal or animals rather than a plant or human being: The island was devoid of all animal life (= there were no animals on the island).

animal adjective (PHYSICAL)

[before noun] relating to physical desires or needs, and not spiritual or mental ones: As an actor, he has a sort of animal magnetism. She knew that Dave wasn't the right man for her but she couldn't deny the animal attraction between them.
(Definition of animal from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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