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[suhn-beem] /ˈsʌnˌbim/
a beam or ray of sunlight.
Australian Slang. a dish or utensil that has not been used during a meal and so does not have to be washed.
Origin of sunbeam
before 1000; Middle English sunnebem, Old English sun(ne)bēam. See sun, beam
Related forms
sunbeamed, sunbeamy, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sunbeam
Historical Examples
  • The sunbeam had vanished, not only from the page, but from the room.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • A sunbeam, escaping from beneath a cloud, gilded the fine drops of water.

  • Fluffy, tell Downy the little story I told you the other day, about the sunbeam.

    Five Mice in a Mouse-trap Laura E. Richards
  • Calling at Trincomalee en route, the 'sunbeam' next proceeded to Burmah.

    The Last Voyage Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
  • The 'sunbeam' left Macassar on the evening of the 20th of April.

    The Last Voyage Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
  • On this, her first visit, the 'sunbeam' remained only three days at Bombay.

    The Last Voyage Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
  • These brief facts will account for his presence on board the 'sunbeam.'

    The Last Voyage Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
  • From three to five o'clock I was 'at home' on board the 'sunbeam.'

    The Last Voyage Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
  • Then cautiously, slowly, she made sunbeam feel his way across the snow.

    Peak and Prairie Anna Fuller
  • If you girls will go in the 'bus I will lead sunbeam and Paddy home.

    Peak and Prairie Anna Fuller
British Dictionary definitions for sunbeam


a beam, ray, or stream of sunlight
(Austral, slang) a piece of crockery or cutlery laid for a meal but remaining unused
Derived Forms
sunbeamed, sunbeamy, adjective
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 sunbeam

Old English, from sun (n.) + beam (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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