beam

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See also: Beam

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English beem, from Old English bēam (tree, cross, gallows, column, pillar, wood, beam, splint, post, stock, rafter, piece of wood), from Proto-West Germanic *baum, from Proto-Germanic *baumaz (tree, beam, balk), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰew- (to grow, swell). Cognate with West Frisian beam (tree), Saterland Frisian Boom (tree), Dutch boom (tree), German Low German Boom (tree), German Baum (tree), Luxembourgish Bam (tree), Albanian bimë (a plant). Doublet of boom.

The verb is from Middle English bemen, from Old English bēamian (to shine, to cast forth rays or beams of light), from the noun.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: bēm, IPA(key): /biːm/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːm

Noun[edit]

beam (plural beams)

  1. Any large piece of timber or iron long in proportion to its thickness, and prepared for use.
    • And a letter vnto Asaph the keeper of the kings forrest, that he may giue me timber to make beames for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the Citie, and for the house that I shall enter into: And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God vpon me.
  2. One of the principal horizontal structural members, usually of timber or concrete, of a building; one of the transverse members of a ship's frame on which the decks are laid — supported at the sides by knees in wooden ships and by stringers in steel ones.
  3. (nautical) The maximum width of a vessel (note that a vessel with a beam of 15 foot can also be said to be 15 foot abeam).
    Synonym: breadth
    This ship has more beam than that one.
  4. (nautical) The direction across a vessel, perpendicular to fore-and-aft.
    • As the vessel passes a landmark, the landmark is said to be abeam. Once the vessel has passed the landmark, it falls abaft the beam, then it gradually falls astern.
  5. The crossbar of a mechanical balance, from the ends of which the scales are suspended.
  6. The principal stem of the antler of a deer.
  7. (literary) The pole of a carriage or chariot.
    • a 1700, André Dacier, John Dryden, “Life of Alexander”, in Plutarch's Lives, translation of original by Plutarch:
      Soon after this be subdued the Pisidians who made head against him, and conquered the Phrygians, at whose chief city Gordium (which is said to have been the seat of the ancient Midas) he saw the famous chariot fastened with cords made of the bark of the Cornel-Tree, and was informed that the inhabitants had a constant tradition, that the empire of the world was reserved for him who should untie the knot. Most are of opinion, that Alexander finding that he could not untie it, because the ends of it were secretly folded up within it, cut it asunder with his sword, so that several ends appeared. But Aristobulus tells us that he very easily undid it, by only pulling the pin out of the beam which fastened the yoke to it, and afterwards drawing out the yoke itself.
  8. (textiles) A cylinder of wood, making part of a loom, on which weavers wind the warp before weaving and the cylinder on which the cloth is rolled, as it is woven.
  9. The straight part or shank of an anchor.
  10. The central bar of a plow, to which the handles and colter are secured, and to the end of which are attached the oxen or horses that draw it.
  11. In steam engines, a heavy iron lever having an oscillating motion on a central axis, one end of which is connected with the piston rod from which it receives motion, and the other with the crank of the wheel shaft.
    Synonyms: working beam, walking beam
  12. A ray or collection of approximately parallel rays emitted from the sun or other luminous body.
    a beam of light
    a beam of energy
  13. (figuratively) A ray; a gleam.
    a beam of hope, or of comfort
  14. One of the long feathers in the wing of a hawk.
    Synonym: beam feather
  15. (music) A horizontal bar which connects the stems of two or more notes to group them and to indicate metric value.
  16. (railway) An elevated rectangular dirt pile used to cheaply build an elevated portion of a railway.
  17. (gymnastics) Ellipsis of balance beam

Hyponyms[edit]

See also[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb[edit]

beam (third-person singular simple present beams, present participle beaming, simple past and past participle beamed)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To emit beams of light; shine; radiate.
    • 2019, Justin Blackburn, The Bisexual Christian Suburban Failure Enlightening Bipolar Blues, page 23:
      Jesus beams golden light from his solar plexus into Eric's root chakra.
    to beam forth light
  2. (intransitive, figuratively) To smile broadly or especially cheerfully.
  3. (transitive) To furnish or supply with beams
  4. (transitive) To give the appearance of beams to.
  5. (transitive, science fiction) To transmit matter or information via a high-tech wireless mechanism.
    Beam me up, Scotty; there's no intelligent life down here.
    The injured crewmembers were immediately beamed to sickbay.
    • 2010, “Beam Me Up”, in Walking the Midnight Streets, performed by Midnight Magic:
      Beam me up (x4) / Beam me up town / Beam me down (x3) / Beam me back downtown
  6. (transitive, computing) To transmit, especially by direct wireless means such as infrared.
    • 1996, Eric S. Raymond, ‎Guy L. Steele, The New Hacker's Dictionary (page 208)
      To beam a file using the File Transfer Protocol.
    • 2002, Michael Miller, 10 Minute Guide to Pocket PC 2002 (page 74)
      To beam a file to another Pocket PC, follow these steps: []
  7. (transitive, currying) To stretch something (for example an animal hide) on a beam.
  8. (transitive, weaving) To put (something) on a beam
  9. (transitive, music) To connect (musical notes) with a beam, or thick line, in music notation.

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


German[edit]

Verb[edit]

beam

  1. singular imperative of beamen

Middle English[edit]

Noun[edit]

beam

  1. (Northern or Early Middle English) Alternative form of beem

Old English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-West Germanic *baum.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

bēam m

  1. tree
  2. beam of wood
  3. gallows
  4. (by extension) the Cross
    • Codex Vercillensis
      Wæs sē bēam bōcstafum āwriten.
      The tree was inscribed with letters.

Declension[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Middle English: beem, beam, bem, beme, beume
    • English: beam
    • Scots: beam

Romanian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

beam

  1. first-person singular/plural imperfect indicative of bea

West Frisian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Frisian bām, from Proto-West Germanic *baum.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

beam c (plural beammen, diminutive beamke)

  1. tree

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • beam”, in Wurdboek fan de Fryske taal (in Dutch), 2011