[ uh-beem ]

  1. Nautical, Aeronautics. at right angles to the fore-and-aft line: The vessel was sailing with the wind directly abeam.

  2. directly abreast the middle of a ship's side.

Origin of abeam

First recorded in 1830–40; a-1 + beam

Words Nearby abeam

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use abeam in a sentence

  • The Sally had crept up until she was almost abeam of the Surprise, and was gaining, ever so slowly, but surely.

    The Rival Campers | Ruel Perley Smith
  • They had the wind almost abeam from the westward, and went along at a good clip in a smooth sea.

    The Rival Campers Afloat | Ruel Perley Smith
  • In a short time we also kept away with the wind almost abeam, a point on which the Foam sailed her best.

    Peter the Whaler | W.H.G. Kingston
  • Ahead, abeam, on our quarter we looked, but nowhere could we discern the faintest trace of her.

    A Middy of the King | Harry Collingwood
  • There was half a gale blowing on the 4th and though the wind was abeam, the sail was reefed and we moved quickly.

    The Home of the Blizzard | Douglas Mawson

British Dictionary definitions for abeam


/ (əˈbiːm) /

adverb, adjective
  1. (postpositive) at right angles to the length and directly opposite the centre of a vessel or aircraft

Origin of abeam

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