\ ˈbēk How to pronounce beak (audio) \

Definition of beak

1a : the bill of a bird especially : a strong short broad bill
b(1) : the elongated sucking mouth of some insects (such as the true bugs)
(2) : any of various rigid projecting mouth structures (as of a turtle)
c : the human nose
2 : a pointed structure or formation:
a : a metal-pointed beam projecting from the bow especially of an ancient galley for piercing an enemy ship
b : the spout of a vessel
c : a continuous slight architectural projection ending in an arris — see molding illustration
d : a process suggesting the beak of a bird
3 chiefly British

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Other Words from beak

beaked \ ˈbēkt How to pronounce beaked (audio) \ adjective
beaky \ ˈbē-​kē How to pronounce beaky (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for beak


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Examples of beak in a Sentence

the beak of a hawk an actor with a big beak
Recent Examples on the Web The parrot started picking up washers in its beak and passing them to its neighbor. New York Times, "Parrots Show Off Selfless Behavior," 9 Jan. 2020 In footage from Iceland, a puffin toddles toward the camera, picks up a stick in its beak, then reaches under its chest to scratch itself with the tiny branch. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Two puffins scratched their itches with sticks -- the first evidence that seabirds can use tools," 31 Dec. 2019 The bird, floating on the seawater beneath a cliff, held a stick in its beak. Ben Guarino, Anchorage Daily News, "Video shows a puffin in Iceland using a tool to scratch an itch," 30 Dec. 2019 Big white egrets swoop to catch those fish in their beaks. Washington Post, "How clean is the Bronx River? Snapping turtles help scientists figure it out.," 14 Aug. 2019 The chick, which measures just 1.2 inches in length, is a kind of bird from a prehistoric lineage called the enantiornithines, which had teeth in their beaks and small wing claws, but otherwise looked very similar to modern birds. John Pickrell, National Geographic, "Prehistoric birds were born ready to run, fossil shows," 21 Mar. 2019 An El Niño comes along, vegetation changes, seeds change, and the beak of the finch evolves accordingly in response to that environmental change. David Noonan, Scientific American, "Pop Culture’s Rate of Change May Mirror Organic Evolution," 22 Jan. 2020 What’s a puffin to do with an itchy back and a short little beak? Grab a stick, a new study suggests. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "In a First, Scientists Film a Puffin Scratching Its Back With a Stick," 24 Dec. 2019 One seems to possess a tail, while another's mouth resembles a bird beak. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "World’s oldest hunting scene shows half-human, half-animal figures—and a sophisticated imagination," 11 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beak.' 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 beak

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for beak

Middle English bec, from Anglo-French, from Latin beccus, of Gaulish origin

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Time Traveler for beak

Time Traveler

The first known use of beak was in the 13th century

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Statistics for beak

Last Updated

24 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Beak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for beak


How to pronounce beak (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of beak

: the hard usually pointed parts that cover a bird's mouth
informal + humorous : a person's nose


\ ˈbēk How to pronounce beak (audio) \

Kids Definition of beak

1 : the bill of a bird an eagle's beak
2 : a part shaped like or resembling a bird's bill a turtle's beak

Other Words from beak

beaked \ ˈbēkt \ adjective a long-beaked bird

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More from Merriam-Webster on beak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for beak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with beak

Spanish Central: Translation of beak

Nglish: Translation of beak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beak for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about beak

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