\ 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 beak (audio) \ adjective
beaky \ ˈbē-​kē How to pronounce beak (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 tawny frogmouth, with its hooked beak, enormous bright yellow eyes, and wide gaping mouth, is a bird often mistaken for an owl. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Eccentric Frogmouth Is the Most Camera-Ready Bird on the Instagram," 4 May 2021 With its broad, hooked beak and wide eyes, the frogmouth — a nocturnal bird that is sometimes mistaken for an owl — is a striking sight. New York Times, "This ‘Angry’ Bird Is the Most Photogenic, Research Finds," 29 Apr. 2021 Among the tips from REGI: Wear eye protection, a jacket and thick gloves. Grab the beak first, cover the entire bird with a large towel, jacket or blanket to keep the wings together and prevent injury to the bird or handler. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'A major loon emergency': Dozens of loons fell from the sky in Wisconsin due to icy conditions, and some may still be stuck on the ground," 28 Apr. 2021 When one brother puffs up his plumage, another hops over and pokes his beak into his brother's feathers and preens away, mostly cleaning and fluffing the tiny feathers around his neck. Terry Demio, The Enquirer, "Han Solo, Vader and Luke are rare brothers who live their best lives at the Cincinnati Zoo," 10 Apr. 2021 Iguanodon measured around 30 feet long with a bulky body and tail and a head with a horny beak much like a turtle. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, "Meet Iguanodon, the big dinosaur that lived in the Texas Hill Country, Germany and England more than 100 million years ago," 6 Apr. 2021 This young oystercatcher is old enough to forage but still relies on its parents for food because its beak hasn't developed the strength to open the shells of mollusks and crustaceans. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, "Amazing Birds In Photos: 21 Finalists For Bird Photographer Of The Year," 4 Apr. 2021 Hummingbirds use their long tongue to lap nectar, and pollen attaches to their beak. Jodi Bay, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Garden Mastery: Plant for the pollinators, which keep our world buzzing with life," 13 Mar. 2021 Black Swan has a red beak with a diamond encrusted tip. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Who Is 'Black Swan' on 'The Masked Singer'? Fans Say It's Pretty Obvious," 17 Mar. 2021

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

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

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Last Updated

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Beak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for beak



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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