animal Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “animal” in the English Dictionary

"animal" in British English

See all translations

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.
More examples

animal noun [C] (BAD PERSON)

informal an ​unpleasant, ​cruelperson or someone who ​behavesbadly: 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 ​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

See all translations

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 ​its senses , 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/

animal adjective [not gradable] (PHYSICAL)

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)
What is the pronunciation of animal?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day

forage

to go from place to place searching, especially for food

Word of the Day

Meerkat meme
Meerkat meme
by Colin McIntosh,
September 03, 2015
Meerkats are not new to popular culture (they appear in the folk tales of the San people of the Kalahari), but their arrival in the public’s consciousness, at least in the UK and the US, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Meerkats are small, sociable Southern African mammals that live in large family

Read More 

parklet noun
parklet noun
August 31, 2015
a public outdoor space that may be associated with a local business but where anyone can sit Pop-up cafes in NY are what’s actually called parklets in many other places around the country.

Read More