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90s Slang You Should Know


[uh-beem] /əˈbim/
Nautical, Aeronautics. at right angles to the fore-and-aft line:
The vessel was sailing with the wind directly abeam.
directly abreast the middle of a ship's side.
Origin of abeam
First recorded in 1830-40; a-1 + beam Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for abeam
Historical Examples
  • We will suppose that you have luffed around the first mark, and the next leg is a run with the wind aft of abeam.

  • She was abeam now, a mile away; how slow they were in running up an answer!

    The Relief of Mafeking Filson Young
  • abeam—At right angles to the length of the vessel, as a dock is abeam when it bears directly off one side.

    On Yacht Sailing Thomas Fleming Day
  • Before all the canvas could be reduced the hurricane struck her abeam.

    Roger Willoughby William H. G. Kingston
  • The full force of the torrent struck her abeam, and away she swept down-stream like a thing possessed.

  • When he first heard the pursuer's boat, it was just abeam of the Isabel.

    Watch and Wait Oliver Optic
  • The abeam arm fork is a curved timber scarphed, tabled, and bolted for additional security where the openings are large.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • The ominous thing was, they did not, as they might have expected, see her on the quarter but abeam.

    Kit Musgrave's Luck Harold Bindloss
  • Still, the sea struck her abeam, forcing her bodily to leeward, and heaving the lower yardarms into the ocean.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • This would bring the combers upon her quarter, or, worse still, abeam.

    The Protector Harold Bindloss
British Dictionary definitions for abeam


adverb, adjective
(postpositive) at right angles to the length and directly opposite the centre of a vessel or aircraft
Word Origin
C19: a-² + beam
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abeam

"at right angles to the keel," c.1836, nautical, literally "on beam;" see a- (1) + beam (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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