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 (bĕs′chē-ĕr′ē, bēs′-)
n. pl. bes·ti·ar·ies
A book consisting of a collection of descriptions of real and fabulous animals, often including a moral or allegorical interpretation of each animal's behavior. Bestiaries were particularly popular in medieval Europe.

[Medieval Latin bēstiārium, from Latin bēstia, beast.]


n, pl -aries
(Literary & Literary Critical Terms) a moralizing medieval collection of descriptions (and often illustrations) of real and mythical animals


(ˈbɛs tʃiˌɛr i, ˈbis-)

n., pl. -ar•ies.
a collection of moralizing tales about real and mythical animals.
[1615–25; < Medieval Latin bēstiārium, neuter of Latin bēstiārius. See beast, -ary]


a collection of fables, intended to teach a moral lesson, in which the characters are real or imaginary animals.
See also: Collections and Collecting
an allegorical or moralizing commentary based upon real or fabled animals, usually medieval and sometimes illustrated.
See also: Animals
an allegorical or moralizing commentary, usually medieval and sometimes illustrated, based upon real or fabled animals.
See also: Literature


 a medieval written book which collects together verse, prose, and illustrations of real and fabled animals—Wilkes.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.bestiary - a medieval book (usually illustrated) with allegorical and amusing descriptions of real and fabled animalsbestiary - a medieval book (usually illustrated) with allegorical and amusing descriptions of real and fabled animals
book - a written work or composition that has been published (printed on pages bound together); "I am reading a good book on economics"


[ˈbestɪərɪ] Nbestiario m


nBestiaire nt, → Bestiarium nt
References in periodicals archive ?
Synopsis: "A Bestiary of East Tennessee" presents an encyclopedia of the creatures, mundane and exotic, dwelling in East Tennessee.
For his characters the village bestiary of sprites and demons are everyday companions.
3 Forms Are Not Self-Subsistent Substances (Samantha Rebello) Contemplating medieval perception via Aristotelian philosophy, Rebello's unsettling film blends church bells and grotesque stone carvings with bestiary images and animal flesh in abstracted, tactile close-ups.
ou may not know what a bestiary is (I didn't) but for this exhibition it helps.
The MUSASHI(R): Samurai Legend(TM) Official Strategy Guide from BradyGames arms players with this essential resource featuring a comprehensive walkthrough, a bestiary and game-tested boss tactics, and detailed maps guiding players through every area in the game.
The thirteenth-century English bestiary preserved in Oxford MS Bodley 764 thus begins its entry on the ass, appropriately enough, by identifying this beast with "the wantonness of the lecherous.
The third part, "Breve Mesta" (Brief mixture), is a rhythmical bestiary in which the mockingbird symbolizes poetry: not an exotic bird but certainly a melodious voice.
These familiar creatures shared the American landscape with a bizarre bestiary of woolly mammoths, saber-toothed cats, 500-pound armadillos, giant ground sloths, and many more unfamiliar species.
He also invented a fantastic bestiary of psychedelic creatures such as the ``Tigoon,'' a baboon-headed tiger, and the Giraffestrich (half-giraffe, half-ostrich).
The curiosity of Joubert and his correspondents is further revealed in the gathering of several hundred common expressions, problems, and sayings, in the refutations of bestiary tales, and in the discussions of oysters as aphrodisiacs (Joubert recommends a balanced diet instead), poisons, the best regimen for princes, the possibility of living without eating, the dangers of nightfall, and the old question of what language a child who had never heard speech would speak.
In the introduction he offers a definition of medieval Latin beast poetry, explaining that it cuts across several literary genres and cannot be identified simply with the three genres with which it has most in common: beast fable, the bestiary tradition and the vernacular Reynard cycle.
In the lowlanders' depiction of the unfortunate mountaineers of Gutium as 'people who know no inhibitions, with human instinct but canine intelligence and monkey's features' we see perhaps the earliest recorded example of the long-lived genre of the human bestiary.