animal Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “animal” in the English Dictionary

"animal" in British English

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animalnoun [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 ​recentlybecome a ​majorconcern for many ​schoolchildren.B2 anything that ​lives and ​moves, ​includingpeople, ​birds, etc.: Humans, ​insects, ​reptiles, ​birds, and ​mammals are all animals.

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  • 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 ​brilliantscientist who can ​communicate her ​ideas to ​ordinarypeople. Feminism in France and ​England are ​rather different animals (= are different).

animaladjective

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 ​mentalones: 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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"animal" in American English

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animalnoun [C]

 us   /ˈæn·ə·məl/
  • animal noun [C] (LIVING THING)

a ​living thing that can move and ​eat and ​react to the ​world through ​itssenses, esp. of ​sight and ​hearing: Mammals, ​insects, ​reptiles, and ​birds are all animals. In ​ordinary use, animal ​means all ​livingbeings 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 ​citycouncil.
  • animal noun [C] (GROUP)

biology us   /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 ​controltheir own ​movement, and get ​theirenergy from ​eatingrather than from the ​light of the ​sun

animaladjective [not gradable]

 us   /ˈæn·ə·məl/
relating to ​physicalneeds or ​desires, such as to ​eat or ​reproduce: Animal ​instinctsapply to all animals, ​including humans.
(Definition of animal from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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