- a necklace of beads: You don't have your beads on this evening.
- a rosary.
- Obsolete.devotions; prayers.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of bead
Synonyms for bead
Related Words for beadstone, pellet, dot, shot, speck, drop, dab, particle, globule, bean, grain, bubble, pill, driblet, spherule, pea
Examples from the Web for bead
Contemporary Examples of bead
The wall directly opposite the entrance was covered in colorful glass and bead mosaics.A Little Too Off the Beaten Path in Burma
June 2, 2014
The bead embroidery on the back of her coat said “Revolution.”Ilya Yashin & Ksenia Sobchak, the Russian Opposition’s Romeo & Juliet
December 17, 2012
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
July 4, 2012
In contrast, Hell on Wheels often has too much happening to get a bead on where the story is going.‘Hell on Wheels’ Has Found Its Way
January 6, 2012
Getting the gun out quickly and drawing a bead on a target, I decided, would challenge even Billy the Kid.Ranger Rick and the Coyote
Carol Flake Chapman
September 10, 2011
Historical Examples of bead
Then I saw a bead of sweat trickle down his forehead, and I knew that he was beaten.Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
Down here a man could line the notch of his hindsight with the bead.When the West Was Young
Frederick R. Bechdolt
Where you had previously raised, you must narrow with the bead you have upon the silk.
Then in the next row, net a plain and a bead stitch successively.
Net the third row plain, and begin the next with a bead stitch.
Word Origin for bead
mid-14c., bede "prayer bead," from Old English gebed "prayer," with intensive or collective prefix *ge- + Proto-Germanic *bidjan "to pray, entreat" (cf. Middle Dutch bede, Old High German beta, German bitte, Gothic bida "prayer, request"), from PIE *gwhedh- "to ask, pray." Shift in meaning came via beads threaded on a string to count prayers, and in phrases like to bid one's beads, to count one's beads. German cognate Bitte is the usual word for conversational request "please." Also related to bid (Old English biddan) and Gothic bidjan "to ask, pray." Sense transferred to "drop of liquid" 1590s; to "small knob forming front sight of a gun" 1831 (Kentucky slang); hence draw a bead on "take aim at," 1841, U.S. colloquial.
1570s, "to adorn with beads," from bead (n.). Meaning "to string like beads" is from 1883. Related: Beaded; beading.
see draw a bead on.