\ˈbēn \

Definition of bean 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : fava bean

b : the seed of any of various erect or climbing plants (as of the genera Phaseolus and Vigna) of the legume family other than the fava bean

c : a plant bearing beans

d : an immature bean pod used as a vegetable

2a : a valueless item

b beans plural : the least amount didn't know beans about it

3 : any of various seeds or fruits that resemble beans or bean pods coffee beans also : a plant producing these

4a beans plural : exuberance used in the phrase full of beans

b beans plural : nonsense, bunkum used in the phrase full of beans

5 : head, brain

6 : a protuberance on the upper mandible of waterfowl — see duck illustration


beaned; beaning; beans

Definition of bean (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to strike (a person) on the head with an object

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Synonyms for bean

Synonyms: Noun

block [slang], dome, head, mazard (or mazzard) [chiefly dialect], nob, noddle, noggin, noodle, nut [slang], pate, poll

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Examples of bean in a Sentence


We ate rice and beans for dinner. We're growing tomatoes and beans in our garden this year.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Keba Konte pours Tanzanian coffee beans into a container at Red Bay Coffee in Oakland in 2016. Otis R. Taylor Jr., San Francisco Chronicle, "Oakland coffee roaster brews inclusivity," 28 May 2018 Of course, Frank Body is no stranger to the lip scrub game: Its non-shimmer lip polish is made with coffee beans, so users are left with oh-so-polished lips and a delightful scent (and Allure editors loved it). Zoe Weiner, Allure, "Frank Body Launches Shimmer Lip Scrub as a Follow-Up to Its Viral Body Scrub," 23 May 2018 Rodgers said Cuisinart doesn't recommend trying to buzz through hard items such as coffee beans, frozen fruit or ice with immersion blenders because doing so can damage the blade. Becky Krystal, charlotteobserver, "Why buying an immersion blender is a smooth move | Charlotte Observer," 15 May 2018 To the customer, the process appears simple: Grind coffee beans, make espresso, steam milk and slowly swirl it into the espresso before pulling the pitcher away at the perfect moment. Sarah Meehan,, "How hard is it to make latte art? Ahead of Coffee Fest Baltimore, we gave it a try," 14 Mar. 2018 Using a coffee-bean grinder, grind 1/3 cup almonds into a rough powder. Ruby Buddemeyer, Marie Claire, "3 Super-Simple DIY Body Scrubs for Your Next Saturday Crafternoon," 23 Feb. 2018 Bia uses Klatch coffee beans in their Nuova Simonelli two-group espresso machine and in their cold brew. Josh Lurie, Los Angeles Magazine, "Stop and Smell the Flowers at These Photogenic, Fragrant L.A. Coffee Bars," 14 Feb. 2018 That almost all-purpose-adaptable Julia Child recipe for braised leg or shoulder of lamb with beans would work, right? Bethany Jean Clement, The Seattle Times, "Taking stock: The story of an accidental, excellent post-Thanksgiving recipe," 14 Nov. 2018 Heat large skillet on medium-high, add green beans and 1/4 cup water, cover and cook, shaking pan occasionally, 3 minutes. Drain beans and transfer to bowl. Anna Helm Baxter, Good Housekeeping, "Roasted Salmon with Tomatoes and Green Beans," 24 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Against the New York Giants, Orioles shortstop Hughie Jennings is beaned by Amos Rusie, the hardest-throwing pitcher in the National League. Mike Klingaman,, "The Sun Remembers: This Week in Maryland Sports History for June 24-30," 24 June 2018 Hitters Konstanty beaned, Giants manager Leo Durocher once joked, didn’t even get headaches. Frank Fitzpatrick,, "The undertaker who brought Jim Konstanty to life | Frank's Place," 23 June 2018 Both sides had been warned by plate umpire Andy Fletcher the previous inning after Giants rookie starter Dereck Rodriguez beaned Lewis Brinson as tempers flared for a second straight game. Janie Mccauley,, "Straily, Mattingly both ejected in Marlins' loss to Giants," 20 June 2018 That, unfortunately, could go on hold after Baez left Sunday’s game after a Jack Flaherty fastball beaned him square on the elbow. Staff,, "Nine Innings: Jason Heyward's Turning Point, Expansion Possibilities and Bryce Harper's Struggles," 18 June 2018 Apparently, getting beaned by two cans of Bush's sweet 'n' savories didn't calm him down. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "'Stop! Or I'll hurl these baked beans at you!' And that's what this Florida deputy did," 5 June 2018 Knights pitchers beaned four batters total — with Jourdyn Campbell being the victim three times. Jason Mcdaniel, Houston Chronicle, "Maddie Lindsey anchors Kingwood's win over Clear Falls," 11 May 2018 Bryant had missed the last four games after being beaned in Colorado last Sunday. Paul Sullivan,, "Kris Bryant returns to Cubs lineup against Brewers," 28 Apr. 2018 The third baseman was beaned by Colorado German Marquez on Sunday and has missed the last four games . . ., "Mass. basketball director Thomas Gassnola pleads guilty," 28 Apr. 2018

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


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


1909, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bean


Middle English bene, from Old English bēan; akin to Old High German bōna bean


verbal derivative of bean entry 1 in sense "head"

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Statistics for bean

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bean

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

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More Definitions for bean



English Language Learners Definition of bean

: to hit (someone) on the head with something


\ˈbēn \

Kids Definition of bean

1 : the edible seed or pod of a bushy or climbing garden plant related to the peas and clovers

2 : a seed or fruit like a bean coffee beans

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More from Merriam-Webster on bean

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bean

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bean

Spanish Central: Translation of bean

Nglish: Translation of bean for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on bean

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


living or existing for a long time

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