arch-beast

evergreenhomeland

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello everyone:

What does "arch-beast" mean in following sentences?

Among those included were the devout Quaker, suffragist, and abolitionist Lucretia Mott and Thomas Paine, who was also called a Judas, reptile, hog, mad dog, souse, louse, and arch-beast by his religiously orthodox contemporaries.


The source is the essay "A New Birth of Reason" by Susan Jacoby from The American Scholar.
 
  • perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I understand "arch-" as an intensifier in this case.

    I would easily replace "arch-beast" with "ultimate beast".

    In other words, "beast" alone did not suffice for describing him.

    "arch" can also be understood as "worst", as in "arch enemy". I understand that to be one's worst enemy.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    From the WR dictionary (accessed by entering a word or phrase in the search box at the top of the page):

    arch /ɑːtʃ/ adj
    • (prenominal) chief; principal; leading: his arch rival
    • (prenominal) very experienced; expert: an arch criminal
     

    evergreenhomeland

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    From the WR dictionary (accessed by entering a word or phrase in the search box at the top of the page):

    arch /ɑːtʃ/ adj
    • (prenominal) chief; principal; leading: his arch rival
    • (prenominal) very experienced; expert: an arch criminal
    Thanks for your suggestion. That is really helpful.
     
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