monster, n., adv., and adj.
Middle English mounstre
, Middle English moustre
, Middle English mowstre
, Middle English–1500s monstre
, Middle English–1500s monstur
, Middle English– monster
, 1500s monstor
, 1500s–1600s mounster
, pre-1700 monstir
, pre-1700 monstor
, pre-1700 monstour
, pre-1700 monstoure
, pre-1700 monstre
, pre-1700 monstuire
, pre-1700 monstur
, pre-1700 monsture
, pre-1700 monstwre
, pre-1700 munsture
, pre-1700 1700s– monster
. (Show Less)
Origin: A borrowing from French. Etymon: French monstre.
Etymology: < Anglo-Norman and Middle French monstre, moustre, French monstre (mid 12th cent. in Old French as mostre in sense ‘prodigy, marvel’, first half of the 13th cent. in senses ‘disfigured person’ and ‘misshapen being’, c1223 in extended sense applied to a pagan, first half of the 18th cent. by antiphrasis denoting an extraordinarily attractive thing) < classical Latin mōnstrum portent, prodigy, monstrous creature, wicked person, monstrous act, atrocity < the base of monēre to warn (see ; for the formation compare perhaps lūstrum ). Compare Italian mostro, †monstro (1282), Spanish †mostro (c1250; compare Spanish monstruo ( < a post-classical Latin variant of classical Latin mōnstrum)), Portuguese monstro (1525 as mõstro).
(Developed from the attributive and appositive use of the noun.)
1730 J. Thomson i. iv. 14
The monster-brood to which this land gives birth.
1861 L. Shore II. 257
A monster brood Trample and rend rich nature, mile on mile.
1903 L. W. King iii. 104
Already in the time of Agum the legend of Tiāmat and her monster brood..had become absorbed into the ancient religious traditions of the land.
1925 J. B. Munn tr. Beowulf in H. A. Watt & J. B. Munn i. 13/1
The unhappy creature had dwelt for a long time in the home of the monster-brood since the Creator had proscribed him.
1697 J. Dryden tr. Virgil Æneis ix, in tr. Virgil 492
Down sunk the Monster-Bulk, and press'd the Ground.
1855 T. B. Read New Pastoral xix, in
A monster bulk, that..Shall fright the traveller with its ghostly shape.
1968 A. Norton 267
We struggled over the monster bulk of the dead thing.
1710 Ld. Shaftesbury 183
Monsters and Monster-Lands were never more in request.
Like King's It, the finale in monster land drags on too long, stalling the fast pace of the book.
1638 F. Junius 43
A man may find them always upon the monster-market, where they stand and stare upon such maimed creatures.
1942 7 88
The stone door is beautifully carved with a monster mask in high relief.
The t'ao-t'ieh, an evil-averting monster mask which pervades the later bronze-age art of central China.
1929 E. Blunden 49
Though the full cloud Frowns monster-browed.
1621 R. Brathwait sig. C8v
Then all approu'd it, and were well appaid; Where th' Monster-headed Vulgar ope'd her iawes.
1869 ‘M. Twain’ xx. 199
The more immediate scenery consisted of fields and farm-houses outside the car and a monster-headed dwarf and a moustached woman inside it.
1980 J. Simpson 7
Monster-Headed Post Found in the ship at Oseberg, Norway.
2000 G. Kam
Sita weeps as Ravana carries her away on his monster-headed bird.
1639 T. D. ii. ii
Foule monster monger, who must live by that Which is thy owne destruction.
1765 J. Otis Postscript 32
A strange gallimaufry this: but I am not answerable for it, or for any other of the exhibitions of a monster monger.
1823 E. Elliott 155
Two living wonders hath this wondering age, A monster-monger, and star-gazing sage.
1982 R. Hoopes xv. 373
James M. Cain was indeed a monster-monger.
1593 T. Lodge sig. L1
Looke how fayre locked Iuno was affected, When she the monster-queller did behold.
1959 A. G. Brodeur 81
Outside the climate of mutual love.., Beowulf would be little more than the monster-queller and marvelous swimmer of folk-tale.
1948 K. Malone in 29 167
Beowulf's mention of sea-monsters..takes us back to the swimming match with Breca, one detail of which is precisely this monster-quelling on the part of the hero.
1615 S. Rowlands 2
The Monster slayers, and the Gyant killers.
Specific findings include the grave site of Manuelito..and a hiding place of Changing Woman (..the mother of the twin heroes, Born Water and Monster Slayer).
1948 L. Spitzer iii. 95
We learn that Hippolyte has not, to his regret, equaled his father in his feats of monster-slaying.
1593 M. Drayton viii. sig. H4
A monster-tamers rare description.
1789 H. L. Piozzi I. 38
We looked on him with reverence as a monster-tamer of antiquity, Hercules or Cadmus; he had the skin of a beast wrapt round his middle, which confirmed the fancy.
1849 R. B. Brough & W. Brough i. 8
You will also see the celebrated Mr. Oedipus, the monster-tamer.
1996 R. Falconer i. 19
If Hercules simply was Christ, as Bude asserts, then Christ can also take the more exciting form of a heroic monster-tamer in Hades.
2012 J. Rioux 46
I'm going to be a monster tamer, and nothing will stop me or scare me.
1597 G. Markham tr. G. Pétau de Maulette f. 7v
Monster-bearing Mother, why didst thou long, Hauing done thy worst, yet to doe greater wrong?
1648 R. Fanshawe tr. B. Guarini i. v. 9
The monster-bearing earth Did never teem such a prodigious birth.
1792 I. 108
One of the giant brood to wed, To press the monster-bearing bed, What madness would desire?
1873 J. Henry I. 448
‘Monstriferi sinus’ is not the monster-bearing creeks or inlets, but the monster-bearing, sinuating waters, monster-bearing billows of the great deep.
1991 S. R. Lawhead
We were on the A82 approaching a village called Lochend. The narrow body of the famous monster-bearing lake itself lay a hundred yards off to the right.
2013 D. Ogden tr. Valerius Flaccus Argonautica §497 in xvii. 158
Neptune gave the signal from afar, and at once the monster-bearing gulf bellowed and the Sigean bane pushed high the waters of the strait.
1581 J. Studley tr. Seneca Hippolytus iv, in T. Newton et al. tr. Seneca f. 65
O Caitiue thou of womankinde for guilt that beares the bell, Whose..euill doth passingly excell, Thy Monster breeding Mothers fault.
1997 J. Lasdun 68
Teratogenic (Lit: ‘monster-breeding’) PCBs and toxic Potions to suit every other taste Were found in a nearby Spring-fed pool.
1596 R. Linche Dom Diego in sig. D6
Of Ariadne, who with smalest lace, freed Monster-killing Theseus.
1738 S. Boyse 50
So stative Jove commands His Monster-killing Bow to mortal hands.
1966 47 141
Digressions..thrown in by the poet..as the fair means by which an experienced teller of long stories overcomes the monotony of a series of monster-killings.
1648 R. Fanshawe tr. B. Guarini i. i. 155
That monster-taming King..Had never grown so valiant..If first the monster Love he had not tam'd.
1788 A. Hamilton in xvi. 99
A project of this kind is less romantic than the monster-taming spirit, attributed to the fabulous heroes and demi-gods of antiquity.
1985 M. White
Fear Busting & Monster Taming.
1995 J. Cech 123
The title page shows Max at the peak of his monster-taming form, taking care of these creatures with dispatch.
2003 D. D. Gilmore Monsters 26 in S. Marzouk
Such monsters as sphinxes bring forth the necessary heroes to defeat them, and because such heroes make civilization by the example of monster taming, without the former there would be no civilization at all.
2006 A. C. Yu tr. Cheng'en Wu iv. 62
In his hands he held six kinds of weapons: a monster-stabbing sword, a monster-cleaving scimitar, a monster-binding rope, a monster-taming club, [etc.].
1717 S. Croxall in J. Dryden et al. tr. Ovid viii. 260
From whose Monster-teeming Womb, the Earth Receiv'd, what much it mourn'd, a bi-form Birth [L. discordemque utero fetum tulit].
1820 P. B. Shelley i. i. 41
Never yet there came Phantasms so foul thro' monster-teeming Hell.
1898 R. Nugent 126
From monster-teeming Nile Spring the worship'd Crocodile.
1936 C. J. Kraemer tr. Horace iv. xiv. 299
The monster-teeming seas that roar Round Britain's rock-bound shore.
1594 sig. K2
Thou hast trode The monster-garded [printed monster-garden] paths, that lead to crownes.
2000 Re: Techs I've never Taken in alt.games.moo2
If I lose a leader I'm usually going to restore a save, due to a hasty decision (exploring a monster guarded system with a leader equipped military fleet for instance).
1630 N. Richards World in sig. E8
Poesie Diuine, Basely neglected by the Monster Crew, Of Puff-Paste muddie Mindes.
a1777 F. Fawkes tr. Apollonius Rhodius
To different regions flew The maid celestial and the monster-crew.
1996 Re: Phys Reps & stealing Them in rec.games.frp.live-action
One of the monster crew (some poor soul) was asked to put it on and not stand with his back to anyone.
1716 A. Pope tr. Homer II. v. 954
To tame the Monster-God Minerva knows, And oft' afflicts his Brutal Breast with Woes.
1859 R. C. Singleton tr. Virgil Aeneid viii, in tr. Virgil II. 276
Monster gods of every breed, Barker Anubis, too, 'gainst Neptune..[ranged].
1995 M. Bartók & C. Ronan 7
Standing by in wait of the outcome was the monster god Amut.
2002 A. Waugh §25. 34
Yam (the many-headed monster god of the waters, who is also the god of chaos).
1655 H. L'Estrange 119
In the same moneth..wherein this Monster-Lord [sc. Audley] was sentenced.
1809 S. J. Arnold
i. i. 2
Intelligence will afford me an opportunity to resume a character in life, which shall make this monster Lord tremble.
1979 P. Theroux ix. 150
When the earthquakes came from the lake, which they knew by the disappearance of the fish, it was a sign that the monster lord of these regions who dwelt in the depths of the lake was eating the fish.
2009 T. E. Sniegoski 195
He pulled free from the demon's grasp and stepped over the dying monster lord.
1970 G. Jackson Let. 4 Apr. in
He was giving to us all of the life force and activity that the monster-machine had left to him.
1605 J. Sylvester tr. G. de S. Du Bartas ii. i. 322
Which like the vaunting Monster-man of Gath, Haue stirr'd against vs little Dauids wrath.
In Church, secure behind her Fan, She durst behold that Monster Man.
1873 A. Anderson 58
Till the monster-man of his midnight thought Took shape in the ghostly gloom.
1982 R. Boguslaw iv. 106
Some sort of gigantic monster-man who prowls the universe.
2007 C. Jordan 344
‘Come on out, little pig,’ says the monster man.
a1640 P. Massinger & J. Fletcher Very Woman iii. i. 12 in P. Massinger
A March Frog kept thy mother; Thou art but a monster Paddock.
1680 T. Otway i. 2
The Monster-people roar'd aloud for Joy.
1998 Re: Greyhawk Slavery, Gladiators? in rec.games.frp.dnd
The Scarlet Brotherhood has slavery and monster-people breeding programs set up on their peninsula.
1965 17 380
Cinematic and cultural history of ‘monster’ films, from archetypes..to neo-classics.
These monster films proved that the Japanese..could also make fantasy creatures that were bigger, meaner, friendlier—and more moving.
1980 28 Dec. (Bk. World) 8
It is useful to possess an extensive listing of video sf, including all those really bad invasion and monster flicks of the '50s.
He writes to..the host of a TV program that runs old monster flicks.
1607 E. Topsell 12
The most parte thought him to be some Monster-little-man.
1633 J. Ford i. i. sig. B2
This thought Begets a kinde of Monster-loue.
1605 J. Sylvester tr. G. de S. Du Bartas ii. ii. 414
This monster-master stout, This Hercules..they tender.
1634 T. Herbert 5
Sharkes..are alwayes directed by a little specled fish, called a pilot fish, by guiding their Monster-masters to a prey.
1841 C. Dickens vii. 274
It's wrung from me by the dreadful brutality of that monster master.
1889 Sept. 805
Latour was the monster master from whose cruelties he had fled.
1999 J. T. Gold & J. Gold
Implied transformations generally involve a person or animal that becomes the slave or representative of its monster master, fulfilling the monster's purpose but not actually undergoing a metamorphosis itself.
1961 E. Goodman 309
His first monster movie was The Dinosaur and the Missing Link, a prehistoric comedy which ran five minutes on the screen and took two months to make.
1973 37 299
It is plausible that violence in a play setting is not violence at all, but something that is..exciting, as in monster movies.
1999 2 June 91/1
‘Jurassic Park’..was a kind of all-you-can-eat buffet of monster-movie clichés, one whopping hunk of red meat after another.
(N.Y. State Dept. of Labor)
When the operators of the Benson Mines..had finished putting together their first monster truck for hauling iron ore, they put it on display at the main gate on the highway.
He..had a house in the Maryland suburbs and a monster truck in the driveway that he didn't have the money to fix.
A three-day show of hot-rod truck-pulling and mud-racing championships... The show includes big-name hot rods and monster trucks.
1994 22 Aug. 30
Madison Square Garden hosts the biannual U.S. Hot Rod Motorsports Extravaganza, featuring tractor pulls and monster trucks.
2009 R. Wingard-Nelson 40
Standing up, a monster truck tire is 66 inches tall.
These monstrefulle thingis, I devise to the, Be-cause þow shuldist nat of hem a-basshid be.
1852 45 90
It was a Behemoth of puffs..standing alone in solitary monsterhood.
1995 E. A. Bohls viii. 243
Like Gulliver, he [sc. Frankenstein] undergoes a protracted identity crisis that moves him inexorably toward confronting his own monsterhood.
2015 R. Long in T. Prescott 124
The narrator connects monsterhood with..a focusing inwards of thought and emotion, to the exclusion of all others.
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This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, December 2002; most recently modified version published online June 2021).
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- monstrant, adj.1727
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- monstriferous, adj.1558
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