Baily's beads

plural noun
Bai·​ly's beads | \ ˈbālēz-, -liz- \

Definition of Baily's beads

: the row of brilliant points of sunlight shining through valleys on the edge of the moon that are seen for a few seconds just before and after the central phase in an eclipse of the sun

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of Baily's beads

1858, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Baily's beads

after Francis Baily †1844 English astronomer who described them

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Baily's beads

Time Traveler for Baily's beads

Time Traveler

The first known use of Baily's beads was in 1858

See more words from the same year

Statistics for Baily's beads

Cite this Entry

“Baily's beads.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

Comments on Baily's beads

What made you want to look up Baily's beads? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!