bead

noun
\ ˈbēd How to pronounce bead (audio) \

Definition of bead

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a obsolete : prayer usually used in plural
b beads plural : a series of prayers and meditations made with a rosary
2 : a small piece of material pierced for threading on a string or wire (as in a rosary)

3 beads plural

a : rosary
b : a necklace of beads or pearls
4 : a small ball-shaped body: such as
a : a drop of sweat or blood
b : a bubble formed in or on a beverage
c : a small metal knob on a firearm used as a front sight
d : a blob or a line of weld metal
5 : a projecting rim, band, or molding
6 : a precise knowledge or understanding used in such phrases as get a bead on

bead

verb
beaded; beading; beads

Definition of bead (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to furnish, adorn, or cover with beads or beading
2 : to string together like beads

intransitive verb

: to form into a bead

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Other Words from bead

Verb

beader noun

Synonyms for bead

Synonyms: Noun

blob, driblet, drip, drop, droplet, glob, globule

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Did You Know?

The beads you might wear around your neck once represented prayers. The Middle English word bede at first meant “a prayer.” People then, as now, often kept track of the number and order of a series of prayers with the help of a string of little balls. Because each of these balls stands for a prayer, the word bede came to be used for the balls themselves. Today this same word, now spelled bead, is used to refer to any small piece of material with a hole in it for threading on a string or wire.

Examples of bead in a Sentence

Noun

Beads of sweat began rolling down their faces. squeeze a bead or two of glue onto the seam

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The result was a rain of glass beads onto the Earth. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Annihilation Event That Killed The Dinosaurs Left This Diverse Graveyard Trapped in Time," 1 Apr. 2019 With this information, scientists used tiny beads coated with protein inhibitors that blocked protein activity, and which lead to bird-specific gene expressions in the embryonic chicken reverting to its ancestral anatomy. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "The Real Science of Bringing Back the Dinosaurs," 20 June 2018 This revealed ceramics, bronze, silver, gold and iron objects, more glass and silver beads, a silver sword pendant and a Roman coin. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Skeletons tell story of 'truly horrifying' fifth-century massacre," 1 May 2018 What: Handmade one-of-a-kind jewelry such as bracelets, wrap cuffs, pendants and earrings using beads, leather, olive wood from Israel, semi-precious stones from around the world, nickel-free copper and Sari Silk tassel from India. Vanessa Infanzon, charlotteobserver, "CLT Made: MADDJewels," 13 Apr. 2018 Float riders tossed beads, along with cabbages, carrots and onions, to parade-goers who lined the route, which started at the corner of Napoleon Avenue and Tchoupitoulas Street, and then turned onto Magazine Street. Ann Maloney, NOLA.com, "St. Patrick's Day parade rolls through Irish Channel," 18 Mar. 2018 They're not just buried, but buried with glass beads known as tektites. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Annihilation Event That Killed The Dinosaurs Left This Diverse Graveyard Trapped in Time," 1 Apr. 2019 There is a silver dress in the collection that appears to be made of elongated metal paillettes, but the show notes reveal it was made from a loom’s heddles cut into sequins and studded with bugle beads. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "The Top 10 Collections of the Fall 2019 Season," 8 Mar. 2019 The The Favourite actress stepped out in a pale pink Louis Vuitton Atelier gown filled with silver beads that were draped in a way that resembled fish scales. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Emma Stone's Nude Golden Globes Dress Has the Internet Stunned," 7 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In fact, blisters can often bead up due to dermatological issues, because a long list of conditions may cause this symptom. Korin Miller, SELF, "9 Questions That Will Help You Decode That Skin Rash," 22 Mar. 2019 Her pieces certainly stand out on their own, especially considering that both bodysuits and beading (hand-beaded bags, mostly) are two of the most prevalent trends in contemporary fashion and on social media right now. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Meet the Designer Behind Copenhagen’s Coolest New Line of Velvet Bodysuits," 28 Jan. 2019 Sis Kendall also put a gothic twist on Coachella staples, accessorizing a long, black lace dress with chunky pendant necklaces and forehead beading. Elizabeth Denton, Seventeen, "Celeb Fashion," 14 Apr. 2014 Meghan looked elegant in a white gown by Theia with beading details for the formal occasion. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Wore a White Theia Gown for a Welcome Reception in Tonga," 25 Oct. 2018 During a special dinner with the king and queen of Tonga, Meghan Markle stepped out with Prince Harry in a stunning white Theia gown featuring cap sleeves and beading details. Megan Friedman, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Meghan Markle’s Tonga Dress Designer Figured Out She Was Pregnant," 25 Oct. 2018 While the older Jenner sister chose a $9,000 mini dress made completely of silver Swarovski crystals, Kylie opted for a more sporty shorts bodysuit in pink — hers beaded with 70 thousand Swarovski stones. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner's Birthday Jumpsuit Is Covered in 70,000 Swarovski Crystals," 10 Aug. 2018 Other bags are hand-crocheted or hand-beaded in India, and several are fancy enough to replace your evening clutch. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Summer’s Most Charming Bags Are Made in India, Inspired by Japan, and Arriving in New York Today," 25 June 2018 This is purely a list of useless but fulfilling stuff, like beading). Lena Dunham, Vogue, "Lena Dunham Explores Alone Time After a Break-Up," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bead.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bead

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1577, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for bead

Noun

Middle English bede prayer, prayer bead, from Old English bed, gebed prayer; akin to Old English biddan to entreat, pray — more at bid

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Statistics for bead

Last Updated

10 May 2019

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Time Traveler for bead

The first known use of bead was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for bead

bead

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bead

: a small, usually round piece of glass, wood, stone, etc., that has a hole through its center and that is put on a string with other similar pieces and worn as jewelry or that is sewn onto clothing
: a small, round drop of liquid (such as water or blood)

bead

noun
\ ˈbēd How to pronounce bead (audio) \

Kids Definition of bead

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small piece of solid material with a hole through it by which it can be strung on a thread
2 : a small round drop of liquid a bead of sweat

bead

verb
beaded; beading

Kids Definition of bead (Entry 2 of 2)

: to decorate or cover with beads a beaded dress His face was beaded with sweat.

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More from Merriam-Webster on bead

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bead

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bead

Spanish Central: Translation of bead

Nglish: Translation of bead for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bead for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bead

Comments on bead

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