A monster is a "a terrifying and dangerous, wild or fictional creature" according to one of the definitions at Wiktionary The word ultimately derives from the Latin verb monere, which also forms the basis of the English word "demonstrate", meaning "to instruct" or "to warn". The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that strange or deformed animals were signs that something was seriously wrong with the natural order and took them as warnings of troubles to come.
The mythology of most countries and cultures is full of strange and horrifying creatures which often delight in taking every opportunity to kill and eat people. Legends about monsters usually tell how a hero, such as Perseus, Heracles (Hercules), Theseus, Saint George or Sir Lancelot, is finally able to defeat or kill the monster and restore order. In such legends, the hero often uses a combination of strength and intelligence or cunning in order to defeat the monster and is often given secret information about the creature's weaknesses before facing it in battle.
The word "monster" is also sometimes used to describe ordinary animals. such as sharks or vampire bats, which are considered to be dangerous to people and frightening in their appearance. Movies, such as Jaws and Grizzly have depicted real-life animals as monstrous villains. People who are considered extremely cruel or wicked are also often called "monsters". In recent times, the term "monster" has also been used to refer to anything enormous or extreme, such as a "monster truck".
Sometimes a monster is strange or scary on the surface, but turns out to be good on the inside. For instance, the "monsters" on Sesame Street are all good hearted.
- monster costume
- Cookie Monster
- Frankenstein's monster