beetle


beetle

noun

  1. any of numerous insects of the order Coleoptera, characterized by hard, horny forewings that cover and protect the membranous flight wings.
  2. (loosely) any of various insects resembling the beetle, as a cockroach.

verb (used without object), bee·tled, bee·tling.

  1. Chiefly British. to move quickly; scurry: He beetled off to catch the train.

noun

  1. a heavy hammering or ramming instrument, usually of wood, used to drive wedges, force down paving stones, compress loose earth, etc.
  2. any of various wooden instruments for beating linen, mashing potatoes, etc.

verb (used with object), bee·tled, bee·tling.

  1. to use a beetle on; drive, ram, beat, or crush with a beetle.
  2. to finish (cloth) with a beetling machine.

adjective

  1. projecting; overhanging: beetle brows.

verb (used without object), bee·tled, bee·tling.

  1. to project; jut out; overhang: a cliff that beetles over the sea; his mustache and beetling brows; thick eyebrows beetling over blue eyes.
  2. to hang or tower over in a threatening or menacing manner: The prospect of bankruptcy beetled over him.

noun

  1. any insect of the order Coleoptera, having biting mouthparts and forewings modified to form shell-like protective elytraRelated adjective: coleopteran
  2. a game played with dice in which the players draw or assemble a beetle-shaped form

verb (intr ; foll by along, off, etc)

  1. informal to scuttle or scurry; hurry

noun

  1. a heavy hand tool, usually made of wood, used for ramming, pounding, or beating
  2. a machine used to finish cloth by stamping it with wooden hammers

verb (tr)

  1. to beat or pound with a beetle
  2. to finish (cloth) by means of a beetle

verb

  1. (intr) to overhang; jut

adjective

  1. overhanging; prominent
n.1

type of insect, Old English bitela “beetle,” literally “little biter,” from bitel “biting,” related to bitan “to bite” (see bite). As a nickname for the original Volkswagen car, 1946, translating German Käfer.

v.

“project, overhang,” c.1600, back-formation from bitelbrouwed “grim-browed, sullen” (mid-14c.), from bitel “sharp-edged, sharp” (c.1200), probably a compound from Old English *bitol “biting, sharp,” related to bite, + brow, which in Middle English meant “eyebrow,” not “forehead.” Meaning “to overhang dangerously” (of cliffs, etc.) is from c.1600. Related: Beetled; beetling.

n.2

beating tool, Old English bietel, from Proto-Germanic *bautilo-z, from *bautan “to beat” (see beat (v.)).

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