1. The Devil; Satan.
2. One of the fallen angels in Milton's Paradise Lost. Beelzebub was next to Satan in power.
3. An evil spirit; a demon.
[Middle English, from Old English Belzebub, from Late Latin Beelzebūb, from Late Greek Beelzeboub, from Hebrew ba'al zəbûb, lord (of the) fly, alteration of ba'al zəbûl, lord prince; see bʿl in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.