a 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.
a necklace of beads: You don't have your beads on this evening.
Obsolete. devotions; prayers.
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.
the front sight of a rifle or gun.
a reinforced area of a rubber tire terminating the sidewall and fitting within the rim of a wheel.
Electricity. a glass, ceramic, or plastic insulator that contains and supports the inner conductor in a coaxial cable.
Chemistry. a 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.
Metallurgy. the rounded mass of refined metal obtained by cupellation.
Architecture, Furniture. a small molding having a convex circular section and, usually, a continuous cylindrical surface; astragal.
Welding. a continuous deposit of fused metal, either straight (stringer bead ) or zigzag (weave bead ).
to form or cause to form beads or a bead on.
to ornament with beads.
Carpentry. to form a bead on (a piece).
to form beads; form in beads or drops: perspiration beading on his forehead.
Idioms about bead
count / say / 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.
draw / get a bead on, to take careful aim at: The marksman drew a bead on his target.
- beadlike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use bead in a sentence
Each blanket is made from 100% cotton and contains non-toxic glass beads.Best weighted blanket: Sleep like a baby with our comfy bedding picks | PopSci Commerce Team | February 12, 2021 | Popular-Science
Pieces in the Wixarikas Collection are especially time consuming, requiring up to a week of work on just the colorful, detailed bead patterns.
Now researchers have demonstrated the bizarre effect for the first time in the laboratory by cooling glass beads as a proxy for the more complex freezing process of water.From Elvis worms to the Milky Way’s edge, these science stories sparked joy in 2020 | Erika Engelhaupt | December 17, 2020 | Science News
They start their lives as ribbons of linear components, called amino acids, like beads on a string.DeepMind’s AlphaFold Is Close to Solving One of Biology’s Greatest Challenges | Shelly Fan | December 15, 2020 | Singularity Hub
In his rustic office, a cow tail with bead embroidery and a fez hanging above it like a crown are displayed on one wall.East Africa’s Healers Embrace Modern Medicine to Treat Depression | Charu Kasturi | December 8, 2020 | Ozy
The wall directly opposite the entrance was covered in colorful glass and bead mosaics.
You can turn it over 17 times in your head and not really get a clear bead on what all that craziness means.The American Prophet of Delusion: Robert Stone in Conversation | David Samuels | November 15, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
The bead embroidery on the back of her coat said “Revolution.”Ilya Yashin & Ksenia Sobchak, the Russian Opposition’s Romeo & Juliet | Anna Nemtsova | December 17, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
It also takes years of training to be able to sew, embroider, bead, and otherwise embellish these clothes.Chanel, Armani, and Givenchy Present Their Haute-Couture Collections in Paris | Robin Givhan | July 4, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
In contrast, Hell on Wheels often has too much happening to get a bead on where the story is going.
He seemed to have abandoned himself to a reverie, and to be seeing pleasing visions in the amber bead.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
When the doctor arrived in the country, Butifer drew a bead on him, in a corner of the forest.Repertory Of The Comedie Humaine, Complete, A -- Z | Anatole Cerfberr and Jules Franois Christophe
They are very timid, and will not look a stranger in the face, their bead-like eyes constantly shifting.Man And His Ancestor | Charles Morris
Before he could draw a bead, the rabbit vanished behind a distant scrub oak.Restricted Tool | Malcolm B. Morehart
This projects some inches from the side of the boat, and the effect of this small bead in throwing off seas is most remarkable.Yachting Vol. 2 | Various.
British Dictionary definitions for bead
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 bead of sweat
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 architect carpentry a small convex moulding having a semicircular cross section
chem a small solid globule made by fusing a powdered sample with borax or a similar flux on a platinum wire. The colour of the globule serves as a test for the presence of certain metals (bead test)
metallurgy a deposit of welding metal on the surface of a metal workpiece, often used to examine the structure of the weld zone
RC Church one of the beads of a rosary
count one's beads, say one's beads or tell one's beads to pray with a rosary
(tr) to decorate with beads
to form into beads or drops
- beaded, 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
Other Idioms and Phrases with bead
see draw a bead on.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.