sun·​beam | \ ˈsən-ˌbēm How to pronounce sunbeam (audio) \

Definition of sunbeam

: a ray of sunlight

Examples of sunbeam in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This satellite, called LightSail 2, is sailing on a sunbeam. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "Bill Nye's experimental spacecraft that sails on sunlight declares mission success," 31 July 2019 This concept of sailing on sunbeams was a dream of famous astrophysicist Carl Sagan, who co-founded The Planetary Society. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Spacecraft designed to ride on sunlight deploys its reflective solar sail," 23 July 2019 Also ideal for an inhabitant who spends a lot of time photo editing: The huge windows, blocked by a neighboring wall, let in a soft, ethereal light rather than harsh sunbeams. Amanda Sims, House Beautiful, "This 350-Square-Foot Studio Apartment Feels Like a Sailboat," 28 June 2019 There is a peculiar pattern to the silhouettes of leaves quivering against the sunbeam on the floor. David Canfield,, "First look: Marie Lu turns to historical fiction in brand-new YA fantasy The Kingdom of Back," 28 June 2019 Benign bubbles, sunbeams and kisses bounce among holes, necks on the block and wolves. Aimee Nezhukumatathil, New York Times, "Poem: Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth," 4 May 2018 Like so much of Montana, the unbound sky was bold and giant, rolling with storms, then cast with sunbeams and blue. Andrew Evans,, "Feel the pull of the prairie on a uniquely American safari in Montana," 5 July 2018 Errant beams of sunlight are a clichéd way of illuminating a hidden treasure, but that didn’t stop a California sunbeam from solving a 90-year-old mystery at the fabled Hearst Castle. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Sunshine Sheds Light on 17th-Century Mystery Painting At Hearst Castle," 14 Mar. 2018 Later, at school in a science class, the teacher showed us a glass prism that, when placed in a sunbeam, cast a little rainbow onto the desk. Staff,, "Comment here on court and crime stories for Sunday, March 11, 2018," 10 Nov. 2017

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near sunbeam





sunbeam snake


sun bear

Statistics for sunbeam

Last Updated

7 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for sunbeam

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

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More Definitions for sunbeam



English Language Learners Definition of sunbeam

: a ray of sunlight


sun·​beam | \ ˈsən-ˌbēm How to pronounce sunbeam (audio) \

Kids Definition of sunbeam

: a ray of sunlight

More from Merriam-Webster on sunbeam

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sunbeam

Spanish Central: Translation of sunbeam

Nglish: Translation of sunbeam for Spanish Speakers

Comments on sunbeam

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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