< /bivz/ for 2; beefs for 4.
- the flesh of a cow, steer, or bull raised and killed for its meat.
- an adult cow, steer, or bull raised for its meat.
- brawn; muscular strength.
- strength; power.
- weight, as of a person.
- human flesh.
- a complaint.
- an argument or dispute.
verb (used without object)
- Slang. to complain; grumble.
- beef up,
- to add strength, numbers, force, etc., to; strengthen: During the riots, the nighttime patrol force was beefed up with volunteers.
- to increase or add to: to beef up our fringe benefits.
- the flesh of various bovine animals, esp the cow, when killed for eating
- plural beeves (biːvz) an adult ox, bull, cow, etc, reared for its meat
- informal human flesh, esp when muscular
- plural beefs a complaint
- (intr) slang to complain, esp repeatedlyhe was beefing about his tax
- (tr often foll by up) informal to strengthen; reinforce
“to complain,” slang, 1888, American English, from noun meaning “complaint” (1880s). The noun meaning “argument” is recorded from 1930s. The origin and signification are unclear; perhaps it traces to the common late 19c. complaint of U.S. soldiers about the quantity or quality of beef rations.
c.1300, from Old French buef “ox; beef; ox hide” (11c., Modern French boeuf), from Latin bovem (nominative bos, genitive bovis) “ox, cow,” from PIE root *gwou- “cow, ox, bull” (see cow (n.)). Original plural was beeves.
In addition to the idiom beginning with beef
- beef up
- where’s the beef