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[beech-koh-mer] /ˈbitʃˌkoʊ mər/
a person who lives by gathering salable articles of jetsam, refuse, etc., from beaches.
a vagrant who lives on the seashore, especially a nonnative person living in such a way on a South Pacific island.
a long wave rolling in from the ocean onto the beach.
Origin of beachcomber
First recorded in 1830-40; beach + comber Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for beach-comber
Historical Examples
  • I guess I'm more of a beach-comber by nature than anything else.

  • The beach-comber was talking in a high-keyed sing-song, but with a lisp.

  • Now Joel Latham was a tsith-addict, a beach-comber at Venusport.

    One Purple Hope! Henry Hasse
  • The beach-comber instinct should be strong in all sane minds.

    Science in Arcady Grant Allen
  • Don't you worry; no beach-comber like that can stand up long in front of me.

    Parrot & Co.

    Harold MacGrath
  • For of such is the paradise of the beach-comber, and the hell of the clean man.

    The Cruise of the Cachalot Frank T. Bullen
  • He had no money now, and he had become a beach-comber in the real sense of the word.

    Ranson's Folly Richard Harding Davis
  • Met him five years ago in Samoa; he was more of a beach-comber than a missionary in those days.

    The Bishop's Secret

    Fergus Hume
  • beach-comber, a fellow who prowls about the sea-shore to plunder wrecks, and pick up waifs and strays of any kind.

    The Slang Dictionary John Camden Hotten
  • When there's thirty thousand to be had for the asking I guess I'm a 'na'chel bawn' beach-comber myself.

British Dictionary definitions for beach-comber


a person who searches shore debris for anything of worth, esp a vagrant living on a beach
(Canadian) (in British Columbia) a person who is paid for salvaging loose logs and returning them to logging companies
a long high wave rolling onto a beach
Derived Forms
beachcombing, noun
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 beach-comber

1840, from beach (n.) + agent noun from comb (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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