beach·​comb·​er ˈbēch-ˌkō-mər How to pronounce beachcomber (audio)
plural beachcombers
: a person who searches along a shore (as for seashells, driftwood, or salable refuse)
dated : a non-Indigenous person (such as a European castaway or convict) living as a drifter or loafer especially on the islands of the South Pacific (such as Micronesia)
beachcomb intransitive verb
beachcombed; beachcombing; beachcombs
Beachcombing for antique blue glass beads … Karl Luntta
My mother loved to beachcomb after high tide on stormy days … Motor Boating & Sailing

Examples of beachcomber in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In May, beachcombers discovered a female deep-sea anglerfish washed up on the sand in Oregon. Christian Thorsberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 June 2024 What problems — if any — might come from robot beachcombers is not yet known. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, 10 Apr. 2024 Diving Mauritius has centers located at several beachcomber hotels: Beachcomber Canonnier Golf Resort and Spa; Beachcomber Victoria Resort and Spa and Beachcomber Shandrani Resort and Spa. Judy Koutsky, Forbes, 10 Feb. 2024 My destination, Parksville, is a beachcomber’s paradise, especially when the tide is changing. Jen Murphy, Travel + Leisure, 19 Jan. 2024 The Company Says Drivers Are to Blame As for Momoa, the star has always done well with Curry by threading a lot of his surfer-bro persona into the character, but by the end of this sequel, there’s the sensation of him bumping his head against the ceiling of his patented beachcomber charm. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 21 Dec. 2023 Magnet fishers throw their lines into waters all over the world, joining the tribe of amateur treasure hunters that includes beachcombers with their metal detectors and mudlarkers plucking Roman coins from the muck of the River Thames. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, 6 Nov. 2023 The apex predator made famous by Jaws (and, OK, by The Meg and Sharknado) has been spotted on East Coast beaches from South Carolina up past Cape Cod, leaving potential beachcombers worried by accounts of close encounters and attacks. Maryn McKenna, WIRED, 6 Sep. 2023 Hazel’s has been serving hearty breakfasts to hungry beachcombers since 1957, which, coincidentally, is the year I was born. Bob Carlton |, al, 27 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'beachcomber.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of beachcomber was in 1836

Dictionary Entries Near beachcomber

Cite this Entry

“Beachcomber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


beach·​comb·​er ˈbēch-ˌkō-mər How to pronounce beachcomber (audio)
: a drifter or loafer especially on a South Pacific island
: a person who searches along a beach (as for seashells or items to sell)

More from Merriam-Webster on beachcomber

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