beam

noun
\ ˈbēm How to pronounce beam (audio) \

Definition of beam

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a long piece of heavy often squared timber suitable for use in construction
b weaving : a wood or metal cylinder in a loom on which the warp (see warp entry 1 sense 1a) is wound
c : the part of a plow to which handles, standard, and coulter are attached
d : the bar of a balance from which scales hang
e : 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 crane
f nautical : the extreme width of a ship at the widest part
g engines : an oscillating lever on a central axis receiving motion at one end from an engine connecting rod and transmitting it at the other
2a : a ray or shaft of light beams from the searchlights
b : 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 : the main stem of a deer's antler
4 : the width of the buttocks … immensely broad in the beam— Ann Bridge
on the beam
1 : following a guiding beam
2 : proceeding or operating correctly

beam

verb
beamed; beaming; beams

Definition of beam (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to emit in beams or as a beam (see beam entry 1 sense 2) The sun beamed its light through the window.
2 : to support with beams (see beam entry 1 sense 1) The house was beamed with heavy timbers.
3a : to transmit especially by satellite : broadcast … the 90-minute show was beamed to more than 200 countries and territories around the world.TV Guide
b : to transmit (data) electronically beaming images of the planet back to Earth The amount of data beamed over fiber-optic networks is rising exponentially every year, yet only 0.1% of fiber capacity is in use.— Leslie Cauley especially : to transmit (data) wirelessly Infrared connectivity enables users to work collaboratively on documents without having to log on to the network, and for quickly "beaming" data between different devices (for example, between two notebooks, or between a notebook and a printer, without a need for a cable). Newsweek
c : to direct to a particular audience a commercial beamed at middle-class voters

intransitive verb

1 : to send out rays of light Sunlight beamed through the window.
2 : to smile with joy The bride was beaming.

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Synonyms for beam

Synonyms: Noun

ray, shaft

Synonyms: Verb

radiate, ray, shine

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Examples of beam in a Sentence

Noun

a bright beam of light We saw the beams from their flashlights. the building's steel support beams

Verb

She beamed as she told us the good news. They stood beaming with satisfaction. “We're getting married!” he beamed. The sun beamed its light through the window. Pictures of the distant planet were beamed back to the Earth.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

One beam shines over a city block while the other measures reflected light. Dan Dubno, Popular Mechanics, "How We'll Stop Chemical Attacks," 28 Apr. 2019 The sample is vaporized via heating, and bombarded with an electron beam to ionize the molecules. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study brings us one step closer to solving 1994 thallium poisoning case," 25 Dec. 2018 Second cracked beam found at $2B San Francisco's 'Grand Central.' MINDING YOUR BUSINESS How the Fed's interest rate hikes impact consumers. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Kavanaugh, Ford face the hot seat in Supreme battle; Kavanaugh a victim of mistaken identity?," 28 Sep. 2018 Gordon, describing the ritual (whose other members are their respective partners, Reinaldo Herrera and Paul Arnhold), beams. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Meet Wes Gordon, the Young Man Leading the Next Chapter of Carolina Herrera," 8 Aug. 2018 This type of insulation is ideal for attics with standard spaced beams and joists and very few obstructions. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Choose the Attic Insulation Your Home Needs," 13 Jan. 2019 Painted in a pale moss green with chrome stools, checkerboard floor, weathered beams and lathes artfully exposed to show off the plaster, the bright space reminded me of an Eastern seashore diner as imagined in a Gene Kelly musical. Tan Vinh, The Seattle Times, "From hot ramen to hotter hot pot: 30 restaurant openings in Seattle and on the Eastside," 28 Nov. 2018 Along with architect Andrew Hill and their interior designer Tiffany De Tomasi, the pair installed wood ceiling beams and a wood statement range hood that lend a welcoming, rustic appeal. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Tamera Mowry's Napa Valley Home Has the Most Amazing Farmhouse Kitchen," 13 July 2018 The craft brewery specializing in Belgian- and French-style beers occupies a building used as the livery for the funeral home’s team of white horses, and the pub sits in the former chapel with original wood beams and light fixtures. Katherine Rodeghier, chicagotribune.com, "Midwest eats: Spice up your meal by dining in one of these repurposed restaurants," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

By year’s end, startup OneWeb aims to launch the first of a constellation of 900 little, low-orbit satellites beaming high-speed internet. Troy Farah, Discover Magazine, "The Web, Worldwide," 19 Oct. 2018 On July 4, 1957, at approximately 9:05 a.m., a voice beamed out of transistor radios across New York City. Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post, "‘Awe-inspiring’: Listen to Sen. John F. Kennedy read the Declaration of Independence," 4 July 2018 Today, fashion shows are beamed out internationally in an instant, whether via a brand’s livestream or in Instagram photos taken by editors in the front row. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "Why Women Crave ‘French Style,’ and Men Want International Style," 22 Jan. 2019 Utilizing the Chinese financing agreement, Global IP contracted Boeing to build the satellite that would beam internet coverage to sub-Saharan Africa. Kate O’keeffe, WSJ, "U.S. Probes Boeing Satellite Deal Backed By China," 11 Jan. 2019 During one of Taylor Swift's two acceptance speeches, the camera glanced over to Demi Lovato, who wasn't exactly beaming. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "Demi Lovato Glaring At Taylor Swift Was Probably A BBMA Camera Trick," 21 May 2018 Perhaps the most charming image to round off the week however, came from husband-and-wife duo Rick Owens and Michele Lamy who took a beaming selfie in Talinn, Estonia. Vogue, "The 19 Best Fashion Instagrams of the Week: Cardi B, Rick Owens, and More," 9 Mar. 2019 In pictures from the October 1990 screening at the Museum of Modern Art of Made in Milan, Martin Scorsese's documentary on the designer, Radziwill can be seen, beaming between the two men, in perfectly fitted black velvet. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "How Lee Radziwill Become the Ultimate Fashion Muse," 19 Feb. 2019 Yankee Barn Homes, for example, is a post-and-beam company that has built prefab homes since 1969. Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "This Prefab Company Will Build You The Midcentury Modern Home Of Your Dreams," 5 Feb. 2019

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

Noun

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

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for beam

Noun

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

Verb

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

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Statistics for beam

Last Updated

12 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for beam

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

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More Definitions for beam

beam

noun

English Language Learners Definition of beam

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

beam

verb

English Language Learners Definition of beam (Entry 2 of 2)

: to smile happily
: to say (something) while smiling happily
: to send out beams of light or energy

beam

noun
\ ˈbēm How to pronounce beam (audio) \

Kids Definition of beam

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 : a ray of light
3 : a radio wave sent out from an airport to guide pilots

beam

verb
beamed; beaming

Kids Definition of beam (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to send out beams of light Sunlight was beaming through the window.
2 : to smile with joy She beamed as she told us the good news.
3 : to aim a radio broadcast by use of a special antenna

beam

noun
\ ˈbēm How to pronounce beam (audio) \

Medical Definition of beam

1 : a ray or shaft of light
2 : a collection of nearly parallel rays (as X-rays) or a stream of particles (as electrons)

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More from Merriam-Webster on beam

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with beam

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for beam

Spanish Central: Translation of beam

Nglish: Translation of beam for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beam for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about beam

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