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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
bead /bid/USA pronunciation
n. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
- Jewelrya small object of glass, wood, etc., with a hole through it, often put on a string with others of its kind in necklaces, etc.
- beads, [plural]
- Jewelrya necklace of beads.
- a rosary.
- a small drop of liquid or a bubble in a liquid: Beads of sweat popped out on his head.
- to form beads or a bead on: [~ + object]The perspiration beaded his face.[no object]The moisture beaded on the glass.
- Idiomsdraw or get a bead on, [~ + object] to take careful aim at (a target):The hit man got a bead on his victim.
(bēd),USA pronunciation n.
- 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.
- a rosary.
- 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;
- 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.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
bead /biːd/ n
- a small usually spherical piece of glass, wood, plastic, etc, with a hole through it by means of which it may be strung with others to form a necklace, etc
- a small drop of moisture
- a small bubble in or on a liquid
- a small metallic knob acting as the sight of a firearm
- draw a bead on ⇒ to aim a rifle or pistol at
Also called: astragal a small convex moulding having a semicircular cross section
- count one's beads, say one's beads, tell one's beads ⇒ to pray with a rosary
Etymology: Old English bed prayer; related to Old High German gibet prayerˈbeaded adj
- (transitive) to decorate with beads
- to form into beads or drops
'bead' also found in these entries: