• (RP) IPA: /ˈmɒnstə(ɹ)/
  • (America) enPR: mŏn'stə(r), IPA: /ˈmɑnstɚ/

monster (plural monsters)

  1. A terrifying and dangerous creature.
    • 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene i]:
      O, 'twas a din#English|din to fright a monster's ear,/ to make an earthquake.
  2. A bizarre or whimsical creature.
    The children decided Grovyle was a cuddly monster.
  3. A cruel or antisocial person, especially a criminal.
    Get away from those children, you meatheaded monster!
  4. (medicine, archaic) A horribly deformed person.
    • 1837, Medico-Chirurgical Review (page 465)
      Deducting then these cases, we have a large proportion of imperfect foetuses, which belonged to twin conceptions, and in which, therefore, the circulation of the monster may have essentially depended on that of the sound child.
  5. (figuratively) A badly behaved child, a brat.
    Sit still, you little monster!
  6. (informal) Something unusually large.
    Have you seen those powerlifters on TV? They're monsters.
  7. (informal) A prodigy; someone very talented in a specific domain.
    That dude playing guitar is a monster.
  8. (gaming) A non-player character that player(s) fight against in role-playing games.
Related terms Translations Translations
  • Russian: уро́д
  • Italian: mostro
  • Russian: и́зверг
  • Russian: чудо́вище
  • Russian: грома́дина
Translations Adjective

monster (not comparable)

  1. (informal) Very large; worthy of a monster.
    He has a monster appetite.
  2. (informal) Great; very good; excellent.
Synonyms Translations Verb

monster (monsters, present participle monstering; past and past participle monstered)

  1. To make into a monster; to categorise as a monster; to demonise.
    • 1983, Michael Slater, Dickens and Women, [|%22monstered%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dqazT5PFM82RiQfXmdiHCQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22monstering%22|%22monstered%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 290],
      A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations feature four cases of women monstered by passion. Madame Defarge is ‘a tigress’, Mrs Joe a virago, Molly (Estella′s criminal mother) ‘a wild beast tamed’ and Miss Havisham a witch-like creature, a ghastly combination of waxwork and skeleton.
    • 2005, Diana Medlicott, The Unbearable Brutality of Being: Casual Cruelty in Prison and What This Tells Us About Who We Really Are, Margaret Sönser Breen (editor), Minding Evil: Explorations of Human Iniquity, [|%22monstered%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dqazT5PFM82RiQfXmdiHCQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22monstering%22|%22monstered%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 82],
      The community forgives: this is in deep contrast to offenders that emerge from prison and remain stigmatised and monstered, often unable to get work or housing.
    • 2011, Stephen T. Asma, On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears, [|%22monstered%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dqazT5PFM82RiQfXmdiHCQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22monstering%22|%22monstered%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 234],
      Demonizing or monstering other groups has even become part of the cycle of American politics.
  2. To behave as a monster to; to terrorise.
    • 1968, Robert Lowell, Robert Lowell: A Collection of Critical Essays, [|%22monstered%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&dq=%22monstering%22|%22monstered%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=apazT5inPMKKmQX8ya2cBQ&redir_esc=y page 145],
      Animals in our world have been monstered by human action as much as the free beasts of the pre-lapsarian state were monstered by the primal crime.
    • 2009, Darius Rejali, Torture and Democracy, [|%22monstered%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=apazT5inPMKKmQX8ya2cBQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22monstering%22|%22monstered%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 292],
      In 2002, American interrogators on the ground in Afghanistan developed a technique they called “monstering.” The commander “instituted a new rule that a prisoner could be kept awake and in the booth for as long as an interrogator could last.” One “monstering” interrogator engaged in this for thirty hours.177
    • 2010, Joshua E. S. Phillips, None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture, [|%22monstered%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&dq=%22monstering%22|%22monstered%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=apazT5inPMKKmQX8ya2cBQ&redir_esc=y page 39],
      The interrogators asked members of the 377th Military Police Company to help them with monstering, and the MPs complied.
  3. (chiefly, Australia) To harass.

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