Meaning of BEAN in English


I. ˈbēn noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English bene, from Old English bēan; akin to Old High German bōna bean, Old Norse baun, and probably to Latin faba bean, Greek phakos lentil


a. : broad bean

b. : the seed of any of various other erect or climbing leguminous plants especially of the genera Phaseolus, Dolichos, and Vigna — see kidney bean , lima bean , sieva bean , snap bean

c. : a plant bearing beans

b. : a bean pod used when immature as a vegetable


a. : a valueless item

not worth a bean

b. slang Britain : a sovereign or a guinea

c. : a small amount of money

he didn't have a bean when they were married

haven't spent a bean on it in years

d. slang : dollar

e. beans plural : an appreciable amount

he doesn't know beans about it

I haven't heard beans about the matter lately


a. : any of various seeds or fruits that resemble beans

a coffee bean

catalpa beans littering the walk

b. : any of several plants producing such beans — usually used in combination

a field of castor beans

— see black bean , coral bean


a. : a bean used in balloting

b. : a man that becomes leader of Twelfth Night festivities through having drawn a piece of cake containing a bean

5. : something felt to resemble a bean: as

a. : a protuberance on the upper mandible of waterfowl (as of certain geese) — see goose illustration

b. : a nipple or similar device placed in an oil-well line to restrict the flow of the oil

c. : a hardened mass of fatty secretion in the sheath of a stallion or gelding that if allowed to accumulate may block the urethra causing colicky pain and impeding urination

6. slang

a. beans plural : beating , punishment , pain , censure — usually used with give

giving the enemy beans when they came within range

giving the opposition beans in a stinging speech

b. : head , skull , brain

every whim and caprice which enters his bean — Henry Miller

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: bean (I) (head)

: to strike typically with a hurled or propelled object and on the head

a caddie beaned by a wild shot

specifically : to hit (a baseball batter) especially on the head with a pitched ball

III. noun

1. beans plural : exuberance — used in the phrase full of beans

2. beans plural : nonsense — used in the phrase full of beans

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