noun, plural bes·ti·ar·ies.

  1. a collection of moralized fables, especially as written in the Middle Ages, about actual or mythical animals.

noun plural -aries

  1. a moralizing medieval collection of descriptions (and often illustrations) of real and mythical animals

“medieval treatise on beasts” usually with moralistic overtones, 1818, from Medieval Latin bestiarium “a menagerie,” also “a book about animals”, from bestia (see beast). A Latin term for such works was liber de bestiis compositus. Roman bestiarius meant “a fighter against beasts in the public entertainments.”

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