Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Creature

Crea′ture

(krē′tūr; 135)
,
Noun.
[F.
créature
, L.
creatura
. See
Create
.]
1.
Anything created; anything not self-existent; especially, any being created with life; an animal; a man.
He asked water, a
creature
so common and needful that it was against the law of nature to deny him.
Fuller.
God’s first
creature
was light.
Bacon.
On earth, join, all ye
creatures
, to extol
Him first, him last, him midst, and without end.
Milton.
And most attractive is the fair result
Of thought, the
creature
of a polished mind.
Cowper.
2.
A human being, in pity, contempt, or endearment;
as, a poor
creature
; a pretty
creature
.
The world hath not a sweeter
creature
.
Shakespeare
3.
A person who owes his rise and fortune to another; a servile dependent; an instrument; a tool.
A
creature
of the queen's, Lady Anne Bullen.
Shakespeare
Both Charles himself and his
creature
, Laud.
Macaulay.
4.
A general term among farmers for horses, oxen, etc.

Webster 1828 Edition


Creature

CREATURE

,
Noun.
1.
That which is created; every being besides the Creator, or every thing not self-existent. The sun, moon and stars; the earth, animals, plants, light, darkness, air, water, &c., are the creatures of God.
2.
In a restricted sense, an animal of any kind; a living being; a beast. In a more restricted sense, man. Thus we say, he was in trouble and no creature was present to aid him.
3.
A human being, in contempt; as an idle creature; a poor creature; what a creature!
4.
With words of endearment, it denotes a human being beloved; as a pretty creature; a sweet creature.
5.
That which is produced, formed or imagined; as a creature of the imagination.
6.
A person who owes his rise and fortune to another; one who is made to be what he is.
Great princes thus, when favorites they raise, to justify their grace, their creatures praise.
7.
A dependent; a person who is subject to the will or influence of another.

Definition 2022


creature

creature

See also: créature and creäture

English

Alternative forms

  • creäture (archaic, chiefly literary and philosophy)

Noun

creature (plural creatures)

  1. (now rare) A created thing, whether animate or inanimate; a creation.
    • 1633, John Donne, "Sapho to Philænis":
      Thoughts, my mindes creatures, often are with thee, / But I, their maker, want their libertie.
    • 1646, Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, I.10:
      the natural truth of God is an artificial erection of Man, and the Creator himself but a subtile invention of the Creature.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      She was like a Beardsley Salome, he had said. And indeed she had the narrow eyes and the high cheekbone of that creature, and as nearly the sinuosity as is compatible with human symmetry.
  2. A living being; an animal or human.
    He's a creature of habit.   insects and other creatures
    • 2013 June 8, Obama goes troll-hunting”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 55:
      According to this saga of intellectual-property misanthropy, these creatures [patent trolls] roam the business world, buying up patents and then using them to demand extravagant payouts from companies they accuse of infringing them. Often, their victims pay up rather than face the costs of a legal battle.
  3. A being subservient to or dependent upon another.
    • 1988, James McPherson, Battle Cry for Freedom, Oxford 2003, p. 240:
      they, too, despite the appearance of being creatures rather than creators of the Union, could assert the prior sovereignty of their states, for each had formed a state constitution […] before petitioning Congress for admission to the Union.

Usage notes

  • For an explanation of the specialised use of the alternative spelling creäture, see its entry’s usage notes.
  • Adjectives often applied to "creature": evil, living, little, mythical, poor, strange, beautiful, wild, rational, marine, social, legendary, good, mysterious, curious, magical, dangerous, mythological, bizarre, monstrous, unhappy, huge, lowly, ugly, happy, unique, odd, weird, demonic, divine, imaginary, hideous, fabulous, nocturnal, angelic, political.

Hyponyms

  • See also Wikisaurus:creature

Related terms

Derived terms

Translations

References

  1. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary [Eleventh Edition]
  • creature in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • creature in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

Italian

Noun

creature f

  1. plural of creatura

Latin

Participle

creātūre

  1. vocative masculine singular of creātūrus

Old French

Etymology

Late Latin creatura.

Noun

creature f (oblique plural creatures, nominative singular creature, nominative plural creatures)

  1. creature; being; entity

Descendants