Meaning of BEAM in English

I. beam 1 /biːm/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

1 .

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.

beam with

Connie beamed with pleasure.

beam at

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.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.