beef up

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n. pl. beeves (bēvz) or beef
a. A full-grown steer, bull, ox, or cow, especially one intended for use as meat.
b. The flesh of a slaughtered full-grown steer, bull, ox, or cow.
2. Informal Human muscle; brawn.
3. pl. beefs Slang A complaint.
intr.v. beefed, beef·ing, beefs Slang
To complain.
Phrasal Verb:
beef up Informal
To make or become greater or stronger: beef up the defense budget.

[Middle English, from Old French buef, from Latin bōs, bov-; see gwou- in Indo-European roots.]
Word History: As has often been remarked, the great social disparities of medieval European society are revealed by the Modern English words for different sorts of meat. In medieval England, meats like beef, pork, veal, and mutton were presumably more often eaten by the educated and wealthy classes—most of whom could speak French or at least admired French culture—and the Modern English terms for these meats are uniformly of French origin. (The French sources of the English words are now spelled bœuf, porc, veau, and mouton, and the French words can refer both to the animal and to the meat it provides.) The English-speaking peasants who actually raised the animals—and who presumably subsisted on mostly vegetarian fare—continued to use the original Germanic words ox, swine, calf, and sheep when talking in the barnyard, and so the animals themselves have kept their native names to this day. One such Germanic word is actually related etymologically to its French counterpart. Cow comes from Old English cū, which is descended from the Indo-European root *gwou-, "cow." This root has descendants in most of the branches of the Indo-European language family. Among those descendants is the Latin word bōs, "cow," whose stem form, bov-, eventually became the Old French word buef, the source of English beef.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.beef up - make strong or strongerbeef up - make strong or stronger; "This exercise will strengthen your upper body"; "strengthen the relations between the two countries"
alter, change, modify - cause to change; make different; cause a transformation; "The advent of the automobile may have altered the growth pattern of the city"; "The discussion has changed my thinking about the issue"
vitalise, vitalize - make more lively or vigorous; "The treatment at the spa vitalized the old man"
ruggedise, ruggedize - produce in a version designed to withstand rough usage; "Detroit ruggedized the family car"
substantiate - solidify, firm, or strengthen; "The president's trip will substantiate good relations with the former enemy country"
restrengthen - make strong again
brace up, undergird - make secure underneath; "undergird the ship"
confirm - make more firm; "Confirm thy soul in self-control!"
reenforce, reinforce - make stronger; "he reinforced the concrete"
buttress - make stronger or defensible; "buttress your thesis"
stabilise, stabilize, steady, brace - support or hold steady and make steadfast, with or as if with a brace; "brace your elbows while working on the potter's wheel"
batten - secure with battens; "batten down a ship's hatches"
batten, batten down, secure - furnish with battens; "batten ships"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. Informal. Solid and well-developed muscles:
2. Slang. An expression of dissatisfaction or a circumstance regarded as a cause for such expression:
Informal: gripe, grouse.
Slang: kick.
Idiom: bone to pick.
Slang. To express negative feelings, especially of dissatisfaction or resentment:
Informal: crab, gripe, grouse, kick.
Slang: bellyache, bitch.
phrasal verb
beef up
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

w>beef up

vt sep (= make more powerful etc)aufmotzen (inf)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in periodicals archive ?
QUETTA -- Provincial Minister for Home and Tribal Affairs Saleem Ahmed Khosa has ordered the high-ups of the Central Jail Huda, Quetta to beef up security in and around the prison's premises.
The statement touted the "world-class quality" project that seeks to beef up KOTC's fleet of liquefied gas tankers as environment friendly, noting that it fully adheres to established maritime safety standards.
(UPS), which beef up manpower and equipment to meet swelling demand.