worry beads

plural noun

Definition of worry beads

: a string of beads that can be fingered to keep one's hands occupied

Examples of worry beads in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some corporate chieftains are working the worry beads too. Rich Miller, Fortune, 4 June 2022 Konstantinos Varelas twisted a string of blue komboloi — Greek worry beads — outside his family’s restaurant on Main Street in El Monte. Los Angeles Times, 27 Nov. 2020 From his left hand, below a fat gold watch, purple worry beads protrude through his knuckles. Alexander Clapp, The New Republic, 28 Sep. 2020 These sounds eventually give way to the clock tower’s chime and the click-tick of komboloi–Greek worry beads—that elders flip languidly with their fingers. Madeleine Speed, WSJ, 8 July 2020 Badi said, peering through large black rectangular spectacles, his hands fiddling with a chain of worry beads. Washington Post, 20 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'worry beads.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of worry beads

1956, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About worry beads

Time Traveler for worry beads

Time Traveler

The first known use of worry beads was in 1956

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near worry beads

worry at

worry beads


See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for worry beads

Cite this Entry

“Worry beads.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worry%20beads. Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!