Meaning of BEAM in English

I. ˈbēm noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English beem, from Old English bēam tree, beam; akin to Old High German boum tree, Old Norse bathmr, Gothic bagms, and perhaps to Greek phyma growth, phyein to bring forth — more at be


a. obsolete : a sizable metal bar

b. : a long piece of heavy often squared timber suitable for use in house construction


(1) : a large cylinder of wood or metal on which yarns comprising a warp are wound before weaving or warp knitting or on which woven or knitted cloth is wound as it is made

(2) : a hand-weaving loom part over which warp yarns travel up and forward during the weaving process

d. : the part of a plow to which handles, standard, and colter are attached and by which the implement is drawn — see plow illustration

e. : the crossbar of a balance from the ends of which scales or weights are suspended ; sometimes : the whole balance

f. obsolete : the shaft of a chariot

g. : a structural member (as an iron girder) usually supported at the two ends that is laid horizontally to bear a load and brace a frame : a horizontal supporting span (as between opposite foundation walls of a building)


(1) : a horizontal structural member supporting the deck of a ship and aiding in holding her sides in place — see ship illustration

(2) : the extreme width of the hull of a ship including projecting structures : the widest part of a ship ; also : the maximum width of a seaplane float or hull measured between the chines — see ship illustration

(3) : the side of a ship : the direction outward from the side

i. : a lever having an oscillating motion on a central axis and connected at one end with an engine piston rod from which it receives motion and at the other with the crank or its equivalent

j. : a sloping board or frame upon which hides are worked in tanning

k. : a long structural member not supported everywhere along its length and subject to the force of flexure (as a rod resting on supports at the ends and bearing a weight at the center) : spar , boom , lever


a. : a light ray : a radiating line (as of light or color)

how far that little candle throws his beams — Shakespeare

: a shaft of light rays from a lamp

the beams from the searchlights

b. : a collection of nearly parallel rays (as of light or X rays) or of particles (as electrons)

c. : glance

d. : a gleam or other emanation or manifestation


(1) : a directional radio signal transmitted in quadrants from a radio range station audible as a continuous tone or whine as long as an aircraft proceeds directly on the proper course but audible as dot-dash or dash-dot as it veers to left or right

(2) : the exact course indicated by a radio beam


(1) : stream of electrons in a vacuum tube flowing from an emitting electrode to a collecting electrode

(2) : a directed flow of a radio signal in space

g. : the zone in which a microphone or loudspeaker functions best

3. : the main stem of a deer's antler

4. : the width of the buttocks : rump

a massive woman, much taller than her husband and immensely broad in the beam — Ann Bridge

- abaft the beam

- before the beam

- off the beam

- on the beam

- the beam in one's own eye

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English beemen, from beem, n.

transitive verb

1. : to send out, radiate, or project in beams or as a beam


a. : to wind (warp yarn or cloth) on a beam

b. : to dress or work (hides) on a beam

3. : to equip or support with beams

a root beamed with heavy timbers


a. : to aim (a broadcast) by directional antennas

programs beamed at Britain

b. : to aim (sound) from a loudspeaker

c. : to direct (a broadcast) to a particular audience

a program beamed to women

: address special attention to

a sales campaign beamed at sportsmen

intransitive verb

1. : to send out beams of light

the sun beaming overhead

2. : to smile broadly or blandly with unreserved satisfaction, pleasure, or joy

beaming with good nature — R.L.Stevenson

III. adjective

Etymology: beam (I)

1. : moving toward or directed at a ship's beam

a beam sea

a beam wind

2. : relating to wave transmission in a fairly well-defined beam as distinguished from substantially uniform transmission in all directions

beam antenna

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.