bestiary

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n bestiary a medieval book (usually illustrated) with allegorical and amusing descriptions of real and fabled animals
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Bestiary A treatise on beasts; esp., one of the moralizing or allegorical beast tales written in the Middle Ages. "A bestiary . . . in itself one of the numerous mediæval renderings of the fantastic mystical zoölogy."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n bestiary A fighter with wild beasts in the ancient Roman amphitheater.
    • n bestiary A name formerly sometimes given to a book treating of animals.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Bestiary best′i-ar-i the name given to a class of books of great popularity in the Middle Ages, describing all the animals of creation, real or fabled, generally illustrated by drawings, and allegorised for edification.
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
LL. bestiarium, fr. L. bestiarius, pert. to beasts, fr. bestia, beast: cf. F. bestiaire,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Low L. bestiarium, a menagerie.

Usage

In literature:

A Bestiary, the Lion, Eagle, and Ant, from An Old Eng.
"A Concise Dictionary of Middle English" by A. L. Mayhew and Walter W. Skeat
BESTIARY, a name given to a class of books treating of animals, viewed allegorically.
"The Nuttall Encyclopaedia" by Edited by Rev. James Wood
The basis of all Bestiaries is the Greek Physiologus, the origin of which can be traced back to the second century before Christ.
"Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 4" by Charles Dudley Warner
Now to have done with this and return to the Bestiary; for I want to finish this work before I go.
"The Cathedral" by Joris-Karl Huysmans
The bestiaries relate many strange things of the elephant.
"Christmas: Its Origin and Associations" by William Francis Dawson
Bestiaries, 76, 123, 214, 276, 409.
"A Literary History of the English People" by Jean Jules Jusserand
But it was not in the scriptorium nor was it in the bestiaries or the examples of his predecessors that he acquired his art.
"The Book-Hunter at Home" by P. B. M. Allan
They were not all, far from it, like Richard de Fournival's, love-bestiaries; most of them had a religious tendency.
"The English Novel in the Time of Shakespeare" by J. J. Jusserand
Ancient European bestiaries say when the peacock wakes it cries and mourns its lost beauty.
"Beast and Man in India" by John Lockwood Kipling
***

In news:

Scan through digital images from the Aberdeen Bestiary and you'll find a marvelous stew of myth and reality.
Sarah Boxer is the author of In the Floyd Archives: A Psycho-Bestiary and the editor of Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks from the Wild Web.
The trip ended with an arrest and added a new creature to the bestiary of online horrors: the Warcraft stalker .
***

In science:

Expanded social scientist’s bestiary: a guide to fabled threats to, and defenses of, naturalistic social science.
Lessons From the Physics-Education Reform Effort
Hubsch, Calabi-Yau manifolds: A Bestiary for physicists.
Primordial Fluctuations in String Cosmology
***