WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
beam /bim/USA pronunciation
n. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
- 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.
- Nautical, Naval Termsthe widest part of a ship (used in measurement):a fifteen-foot beam.
- a long piece of wood mounted horizontally off the ground, used in gymnastics by women:Watch her dismount from the beam.
- 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.
- Radio and Televisiona radio signal sent along a narrow course, used to guide pilots.
- to send out in or as if in beams or rays:[~ + object]They beamed the X-rays through the material.
- Physics, Optics to emit beams, as of light or heat:[no object]The sun beamed through the dreary clouds.
- Radio and Television to transmit (a signal) in a particular direction:[~ + object]We beamed the signal to the satellite.
- to smile radiantly or happily: [no object]beamed with satisfaction.[~ + object]beamed a smile of pure happiness.
(bēm),USA pronunciation n.
- 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.
- [Building Trades.]a horizontal bearing member, as a joist or lintel.
- [Engineering.]a rigid member or structure supported at each end, subject to bending stresses from a direction perpendicular to its length.
- 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.
- [Aeron.]the direction perpendicular to the plane of symmetry of an aircraft and outward from the side.
- the widest part.
- [Slang.]the measure across both hips or buttocks:broad in the beam.
- 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.
- the crossbar of a balance, from the ends of which the scales or pans are suspended.
- a ray of light:The sun shed its beams upon the vineyard.
- a group of nearly parallel rays.
- [Radio, Aeron.]a signal transmitted along a narrow course, used to guide pilots through darkness, bad weather, etc.
- [Electronics.]a narrow stream of electrons, as that emitted from the electron gun of a cathode ray tube.
- the angle at which a microphone or loudspeaker functions best.
- the cone-shaped range of effective use of a microphone or loudspeaker.
- [CB Radio Slang.]See beam antenna.
- a gleam;
suggestion:a beam of hope.
- a radiant smile.
- the principal stem of the antler of a deer.
- fly the beam, [Radio, Aeron.](of an aircraft) to be guided by a beam.
- off the beam:
- not on the course indicated by a radio beam.
incorrect:The pollsters were off the beam again for the last presidential election.
- 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.
- to emit in or as in beams or rays.
- [Radio.]to transmit (a signal) in a particular direction.
- Radio and Televisionto direct (a program, commercial message, etc.) to a predetermined audience.
- to emit beams, as of light.
- to smile radiantly or happily.
- beam in, [CB Radio Slang.]to be received under optimum conditions;
be heard loud and clear:They told me I was really beaming in.
- Indo-European *bhorǵh-mos growth; see barrow2
- 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
- a long thick straight-sided piece of wood, metal, concrete, etc, esp one used as a horizontal structural member
- the breadth of a ship or boat taken at its widest part, usually amidships
- a ray or column of light, as from a beacon
- a broad smile
- one of the two cylindrical rollers on a loom, one of which holds the warp threads before weaving, the other the finished work
- the main stem of a deer's antler from which the smaller branches grow
- the central shaft of a plough to which all the main parts are attached
- a narrow unidirectional flow of electromagnetic radiation or particles: a beam of light, an electron beam
- the horizontal centrally pivoted bar in a balance
- informal the width of the hips (esp in the phrase broad in the beam)
- a beam in one's eye ⇒ a fault or grave error greater in oneself than in another person
- off beam, off the beam ⇒ not following a radio beam to maintain a course
- informal wrong, mistaken, or irrelevant
- on the beam ⇒ following a radio beam to maintain a course
- informal correct, relevant, or appropriate
Etymology: Old English beam; related to Gothic bagms tree, Old High German boum treeˈbeaming adj , n
- to send out or radiate (rays of light)
- (transitive) to divert or aim (a radio signal or broadcast, light, etc) in a certain direction: to beam a programme to Tokyo
- (intransitive) to smile broadly with pleasure or satisfaction
'beam' also found in these entries (note: many are not synonyms or translations):