I. noun 1. a very heavy mallet, typically with a wooden head, used for ramming, crushing, etc. 2. a machine used for heightening the lustre of cloth by pressure from rollers. II. verb — [with obj.] 1. ram or crush with a beetle. • she stood in a shed, beetling grain for the fowl.
2. finish (cloth) with a beetle.
– origin Old English bētel, of Germanic origin; related to beat.