UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈbiːm/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/bim/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(bēm)

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
beam /bim/USA pronunciation   n. 
  1. Buildinga long piece or bar of metal, wood, etc., used to support a roof, building, or other structure:The beams in the basement had rotted away.
  2. Nautical, Naval Termsthe widest part of a ship (used in measurement):a fifteen-foot beam.
  3. a long piece of wood mounted horizontally off the ground, used in gymnastics by women:Watch her dismount from the beam.
  4. Electronicsa ray or stream of light or other radiation, as subatomic particles:Beams of light danced off the window. The scientists shot a beam of electrons.
  5. Radio and Televisiona radio signal sent along a narrow course, used to guide pilots.

  1. to send out in or as if in beams or rays:[+ object]They beamed the X-rays through the material.
  2. Physics, Optics to emit beams, as of light or heat:[no object]The sun beamed through the dreary clouds.
  3. Radio and Television to transmit (a signal) in a particular direction:[+ object]We beamed the signal to the satellite.
  4. to smile radiantly or happily: [no object]beamed with satisfaction.[+ object]beamed a smile of pure happiness.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
beam  (bēm),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. any of various relatively long pieces of metal, wood, stone, etc., manufactured or shaped esp. for use as rigid members or parts of structures or machines.
  2. [Building Trades.]a horizontal bearing member, as a joist or lintel.
  3. [Engineering.]a rigid member or structure supported at each end, subject to bending stresses from a direction perpendicular to its length.
  4. [Naut.]
    • a horizontal structural member, usually transverse, for supporting the decks and flats of a vessel.
    • the extreme width of a vessel.
    • the shank of an anchor.
  5. [Aeron.]the direction perpendicular to the plane of symmetry of an aircraft and outward from the side.
  6. the widest part.
  7. [Slang.]the measure across both hips or buttocks:broad in the beam.
  8. [Mach.]
    • See  walking beam. 
    • (in a loom) a roller or cylinder on which the warp is wound before weaving.
    • a similar cylinder on which cloth is wound as it is woven.
  9. the crossbar of a balance, from the ends of which the scales or pans are suspended.
  10. a ray of light:The sun shed its beams upon the vineyard.
  11. a group of nearly parallel rays.
  12. [Radio, Aeron.]a signal transmitted along a narrow course, used to guide pilots through darkness, bad weather, etc.
  13. [Electronics.]a narrow stream of electrons, as that emitted from the electron gun of a cathode ray tube.
  14. the angle at which a microphone or loudspeaker functions best.
  15. the cone-shaped range of effective use of a microphone or loudspeaker.
  16. [CB Radio Slang.]See  beam antenna. 
  17. a gleam;
    suggestion:a beam of hope.
  18. a radiant smile.
  19. the principal stem of the antler of a deer.
  20. fly the beam, [Radio, Aeron.](of an aircraft) to be guided by a beam.
  21. off the beam: 
    • not on the course indicated by a radio beam.
    • [Informal.]wrong;
      incorrect:The pollsters were off the beam again for the last presidential election.
  22. on the beam: 
    • on the course indicated by a radio beam, as an airplane.
    • [Naut.]at right angles to the keel.
    • [Informal.]proceeding well;
      exact:Their research is right on the beam and the results should be very valuable.

  1. to emit in or as in beams or rays.
  2. [Radio.]to transmit (a signal) in a particular direction.
  3. Radio and Televisionto direct (a program, commercial message, etc.) to a predetermined audience.

  1. to emit beams, as of light.
  2. to smile radiantly or happily.
  3. beam in, [CB Radio Slang.]to be received under optimum conditions;
    be heard loud and clear:They told me I was really beaming in.
beamless, adj. 
beamlike′, adj. 
  • Indo-European *bhorǵh-mos growth; see barrow2
  • *bargmaz
  • bef. 900; Middle English beem, Old English bēam tree, post, ray of light; cognate with Old Frisian bām, Old Saxon bōm, Dutch boom, Old High German boum (German Baum), Gothic bagms, Old Norse bathmr tree; the identity of the consonant which has assimilated itself to the following m is unclear, as is the original root; perh. Gmc *bagmaz
    • 10.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See  gleam. 
    • 23.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See  shine. 

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
beam /biːm/ n
  1. a long thick straight-sided piece of wood, metal, concrete, etc, esp one used as a horizontal structural member
  2. the breadth of a ship or boat taken at its widest part, usually amidships
  3. a ray or column of light, as from a beacon
  4. a broad smile
  5. one of the two cylindrical rollers on a loom, one of which holds the warp threads before weaving, the other the finished work
  6. the main stem of a deer's antler from which the smaller branches grow
  7. the central shaft of a plough to which all the main parts are attached
  8. a narrow unidirectional flow of electromagnetic radiation or particles: a beam of light, an electron beam
  9. the horizontal centrally pivoted bar in a balance
  10. informal the width of the hips (esp in the phrase broad in the beam)
  11. a beam in one's eyea fault or grave error greater in oneself than in another person
  12. off beam, off the beamnot following a radio beam to maintain a course
  13. informal wrong, mistaken, or irrelevant
  14. on the beamfollowing a radio beam to maintain a course
  15. informal correct, relevant, or appropriate
  1. to send out or radiate (rays of light)
  2. (transitive) to divert or aim (a radio signal or broadcast, light, etc) in a certain direction: to beam a programme to Tokyo
  3. (intransitive) to smile broadly with pleasure or satisfaction
Etymology: Old English beam; related to Gothic bagms tree, Old High German boum tree

ˈbeaming adj , n
'beam' also found in these entries (note: many are not synonyms or translations):
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