1

beam

play
noun \ˈbēm\

Definition of beam

  1. 1a :  a long piece of heavy often squared timber suitable for use in constructionb weaving :  a wood or metal cylinder in a loom on which the warp (see 1warp 1a) is woundc :  the part of a plow to which handles, standard, and coulter are attachedd :  the bar of a balance from which scales hange :  one of the principal horizontal supporting members (as of a building or ship) a steel beam supporting a floor; also :  boom, spar the beam of a cranef nautical :  the extreme width of a ship at the widest partg engines :  an oscillating lever on a central axis receiving motion at one end from an engine connecting rod and transmitting it at the other

  2. 2a :  a ray or shaft of light beams from the searchlightsb :  a collection of nearly parallel rays (such as X-rays) or a stream of particles (such as electrons)c :  a constant directional radio signal transmitted for the guidance of pilots; also :  the course indicated by a radio beam

  3. 3 :  the main stem of a deer's antler

  4. 4 :  the width of the buttocks … immensely broad in the beam … — Ann Bridge

on the beam

  1. 1 :  following a guiding beam

  2. 2 :  proceeding or operating correctly

Examples of beam in a sentence

  1. a bright beam of light

  2. We saw the beams from their flashlights.

  3. the building's steel support beams

Origin and Etymology of beam

Middle English beem, from Old English bēam tree, beam; akin to Old High German boum tree


First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Wood Production Terms


2

beam

verb

Definition of beam

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to emit in beams or as a beam (see 1beam 2) The sun beamed its light through the window.

  3. 2 :  to support with beams (see 1beam 1) The house was beamed with heavy timbers.

  4. 3a :  to transmit especially by satellite :  broadcast … the 90-minute show was beamed to more than 200 countries and territories around the world. — TV Guideb :  to transmit (data) electronically beaming images of the planet back to Earthc :  to direct to a particular audience a commercial beamed at middle-class voters

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 :  to send out rays of light Sunlight beamed through the window.

  7. 2 :  to smile with joy The bride was beaming.

Examples of beam in a sentence

  1. She beamed as she told us the good news.

  2. They stood beaming with satisfaction.

  3. We're getting married! he beamed.

  4. The sun beamed its light through the window.

  5. Pictures of the distant planet were beamed back to the Earth.

Origin and Etymology of beam

Middle English bemen, verbal derivative of bem, beem 1beam


First Known Use: 15th century



BEAM Defined for English Language Learners

1

beam

play
noun \ˈbēm\

Definition of beam for English Language Learners

  • : a line of light coming from a source (such as the sun or a headlight)

  • : a line of energy, particles, etc., that cannot be seen

  • : a long and heavy piece of wood or metal that is used as a support in a building or ship


2

beam

verb

Definition of beam for English Language Learners

  • : to smile happily

  • : to say (something) while smiling happily

  • : to send out beams of light or energy


BEAM Defined for Kids

1

beam

play
noun \ˈbēm\

Definition of beam for Students

  1. 1 :  a long heavy piece of timber or metal used as a main horizontal support of a building or a ship a ceiling beam

  2. 2 :  a ray of light

  3. 3 :  a radio wave sent out from an airport to guide pilots


2

beam

play
verb

Definition of beam for Students

beamed

;

beaming

  1. 1 :  to send out beams of light Sunlight was beaming through the window.

  2. 2 :  to smile with joy She beamed as she told us the good news.

  3. 3 :  to aim a radio broadcast by use of a special antenna


Medical Dictionary

beam

play
noun \ˈbēm\

Medical Definition of beam

  1. 1:  a ray or shaft of light

  2. 2:  a collection of nearly parallel rays (as X-rays) or a stream of particles (as electrons)



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up beam? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to cast off or become cast off

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • ludwig-richter-spring-has-arrived
  • Which is a synonym of upbraid?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ