Jewelrya small, usually round object of glass, wood, stone, or the like with a hole through it, often strung with others of its kind in necklaces, rosaries, etc.
Jewelrya necklace of beads:You don't have your beads on this evening.
any small globular or cylindrical body.
a drop of liquid:beads of moisture.
a bubble rising through effervescent liquid.
Usually, beads. a mass of such bubbles on the surface of a liquid.
Militarythe front sight of a rifle or gun.
Automotivea reinforced area of a rubber tire terminating the sidewall and fitting within the rim of a wheel. See illus. under tire.
Electricitya glass, ceramic, or plastic insulator that contains and supports the inner conductor in a coaxial cable.
Chemistrya globule of borax or some other flux, supported on a platinum wire, in which a small amount of some substance is heated in a flame as a test for its constituents.
Metallurgythe rounded mass of refined metal obtained by cupellation.
Furniture, Architecture[Archit., Furniture.]a small molding having a convex circular section and, usually, a continuous cylindrical surface; astragal.
Building, Building, Metallurgy[Welding.]a continuous deposit of fused metal, either straight(stringer bead) or zigzag(weave bead).
count, say, or tell one's beads, to say one's prayers, using rosary beads:There were a few old women counting their beads in the hushed silence of the chapel.
Idiomsdraw or get a bead on, to take careful aim at:The marksman drew a bead on his target.
to form or cause to form beads or a bead on.
to ornament with beads.
Building[Carpentry.]to form a bead on (a piece).
to form beads; form in beads or drops:perspiration beading on his forehead.
bef. 900; Middle English bede prayer, prayer bead (where, on a rosary each bead symbolizes a prayer, the word for the notion symbolized was transferred to the designating object), Old English gebed prayer; akin to bid1, German Gebet
4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged droplet, globule, blob, dot.