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

In the Raiders’ first practice last Saturday, Abram had a bead on two potential interceptions. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Rookie safety Johnathan Abram making presence heard with Raiders," 31 July 2019 Despite the bold nature of his exploits, Berg was apparently a difficult man to get a bead on. Kenneth Turan, Twin Cities, "‘The Spy Behind Home Plate’ presents a ballplayer who was one of a kind," 11 July 2019 People reports that each panel of her dress was embroidered with 50,400 crystal eclats and 50,400 white beads. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Every Single Detail We Know About Sophie Turner's Custom Louis Vuitton Wedding Dress," 6 July 2019 Each panel of Turner’s dress was embroidered with 50,400 crystal eclats and 50,400 white beads. Kaitlyn Frey, PEOPLE.com, "Sophie Turner's One-of-a-Kind Louis Vuitton Wedding Dress Took More Than 350 Hours to Make," 5 July 2019 Harris has taught his children and grandchildren to sew; even his 4-year-old grandson can string beads on thread. Laura Testino, nola.com, "Created new each year, Mardi Gras Indian suits find more permanent homes," 28 June 2019 Despite the bold nature of his exploits, Berg was apparently a difficult man to get a bead on. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘The Spy Behind Home Plate’ presents a ballplayer who was one of a kind," 27 June 2019 Despite the bold nature of his exploits, Berg was apparently a difficult man to get a bead on. Kenneth Turan, Detroit Free Press, "Well-done doc reveals story of a ballplayer-turned-spy," 20 June 2019 Others sit vigil and pray the rosary, a string of beads with a cross at the end. Washington Post, "Many turn to El Paso’s Catholic traditions after massacre," 9 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Her interests included painting, spinning, weaving, beading, writing, and traveling. Orlando Sentinel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Deaths in Central Florida: 6/16," 16 June 2019 Neon parsley oil wells up from the bottom to bead the surface, while the melting cream sends forth emissaries of acid and fat, making the broth simultaneously brighter and richer. Fortune, "Restaurant Review: Iceland’s Slippurinn Is an Ephemeral Culinary Destination," 11 Aug. 2019 Their hair blows in the wind, and their skin is beaded with water from floating in forest lakes. Eryn Loeb, Longreads, "When Friendship Fades But the Images Linger," 9 Aug. 2019 Her interests included painting, spinning, weaving, beading, writing, and traveling. Orlando Sentinel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Deaths in Central Florida: 6/16," 16 June 2019 Beyoncé wore a bodacious custom one-shoulder beaded merlot Walter Collection gown with a high slit and sweetheart neckline, paired with Jimmy Choo Viola sandals and Messika jewelry. Paula Rogo, Essence, "Beyoncé Stuns In Custom Gown At Jay-Z's Niece's Birthday Party," 29 July 2019 Her interests included painting, spinning, weaving, beading, writing, and traveling. Orlando Sentinel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Deaths in Central Florida: 6/16," 16 June 2019 The process that formed the fog is similar to the forces that cause droplets of water to bead up on a cool glass of water on a hot summer day, weather service meteorologist Ben Miller said. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Fog consumes lakefront just before Milwaukee fireworks show. But the show goes on!," 3 July 2019 Prada beaded and embroidered plastic flowers on tie-dyed skirts and shorts to make a young, edgy collection. David Syrek, chicagotribune.com, "Flowers rule for summer — in fashion and home design," 26 June 2019

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 entry 1

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Statistics for bead

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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