Middle English bec, from Anglo-Norman, from Old French bec, from Latin beccus, from Gaulish *beccos (“chicken beak”, literally “small”), (compare Irish beag (“little”), Welsh bach, bychan Breton bac'h, bihan and beg (“beak”), from Proto-Celtic *bakk- (“hook”).
beak (plural beaks)
- A rigid structure projecting from the front of a bird's face, used for pecking, grooming and for eating food.
- A similar structure forming the jaws of an octopus, turtle, etc.
- The long projecting sucking mouth of some insects and other invertebrates, as in the Hemiptera.
- The upper or projecting part of the shell, near the hinge of a bivalve.
- The prolongation of certain univalve shells containing the canal.
- (nautical) The metal point fixed on the bows of a war galley, used as a ram.
- (slang) A justice of the peace, magistrate, headmaster or other person of authority.
- He's up before the beak again tomorrow.
- I clapp'd my peepers full of tears, and so the old beak set me free; I began to weep, and the judge set me free.
- (slang) The human nose, especially one that is large and pointed.
- Anything projecting or ending in a point, like a beak, such as a promontory of land.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Carew to this entry?)
- A beam, shod or armed at the end with a metal head or point, and projecting from the prow of an ancient galley, in order to pierce the vessel of an enemy; a beakhead.
- (nautical) That part of a ship, before the forecastle, which is fastened to the stem, and supported by the main knee.
- (architecture) A continuous slight projection ending in an arris or narrow fillet; that part of a drip from which the water is thrown off.
- (botany) Any process somewhat like the beak of a bird, terminating the fruit or other parts of a plant.
- (farriery) A toe clip.