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bee·tle 1

1. Any of numerous insects of the order Coleoptera, having biting or chewing mouthparts and forewings modified to form horny coverings that protect the underlying pair of membranous hind wings when at rest.
2. An insect resembling a member of the order Coleoptera.
intr.v. bee·tled, bee·tling, bee·tles
To make one's way or move like a beetle: "Chambermaids ... beetled from bedroom to bedroom loaded with ... champagne" (Vanity Fair).

[Middle English betil, from Old English bitela, from bītan, to bite; see bheid- in Indo-European roots.]

bee·tle 2

Jutting; overhanging: beetle brows.
intr.v. bee·tled, bee·tling, bee·tles
To jut; overhang: "The rocks often beetled over the road" (Washington Irving).

[Back-formation from Middle English bitel-brouwed , beetle-browed; see beetle-browed.]

bee·tle 3

1. A heavy mallet with a large wooden head.
2. A small wooden household mallet.
3. A machine with revolving wooden hammers that gives fabrics a lustrous sheen.

[Middle English betel, from Old English bȳtl; see bhau- in Indo-European roots.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.beetling - jutting or overhangingbeetling - jutting or overhanging; "beetle brows"
protrusive - thrusting outward


adj cliffsüberhängend; browvorspringend
References in classic literature ?
He saw their beetling brows, their great fangs, their wicked eyes.