I. beam 1 /biːm/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
a) a line of light shining from the sun, a lamp etc:
the beam of a powerful flashlight
b) a line of light, energy etc that you cannot see:
a laser beam
2 . a long heavy piece of wood or metal used in building houses, bridges etc
3 . a wide happy smile:
a beam of delight
4 . off beam British English informal incorrect or mistaken:
Our guesses were way off beam.
5 . a ↑ balance beam
6 . technical the widest part of a ship from side to side
⇨ broad in the beam at ↑ broad 1 (1)
II. beam 2 BrE AmE verb
1 . [intransitive] to smile very happily:
Sherman looked at his sons and beamed proudly.
Connie beamed with pleasure.
McLeish beamed at her.
2 . [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to send a radio or television signal through the air, especially to somewhere very distant:
the first sports broadcast to be beamed across the Atlantic
3 . [intransitive and transitive] to send out a line of light, heat, energy etc:
The sun beamed through the clouds.
• • •
▪ smile to make your mouth curve upwards, in order to be friendly or because you are happy or amused:
She smiled when she read his email.
‘I’m delighted to meet you,' George said, smiling at the girl.
▪ grin to give a big smile:
The two boys were grinning at each other.
The coach was grinning from ear to ear (=was grinning a lot) when the team scored.
▪ beam to give a big happy smile for a long time, because you are very pleased or proud:
She beamed with pride as her son collected the award.
The wedding couple were outside beaming at the camera.
▪ smirk to smile in an unpleasant way, for example because you are pleased about someone else’s bad luck or because you know something that someone else does not know:
The children smirked when the teacher dropped all the books on the floor.
What are you smirking about?
▪ simper disapproving written to smile in a silly and annoying way:
a group of simpering schoolgirls
I hated the way she simpered every time a man spoke to her.