1. the bill of a bird; neb.
  2. any similar horny mouthpart in other animals, as the turtle or duckbill.
  3. anything beaklike or ending in a point, as the spout of a pitcher.
  4. Slang. a person's nose.
  5. Entomology. proboscis(def 3).
  6. Botany. a narrowed or prolonged tip.
  7. Nautical. (formerly) a metal or metal-sheathed projection from the bow of a warship, used to ram enemy vessels; ram; rostrum.
  8. Typography. a serif on the arm of a character, as of a K.
  9. Also called bird's beak. Architecture. a pendant molding forming a drip, as on the soffit of a cornice.
  10. Chiefly British Slang.
    1. a judge; magistrate.
    2. a schoolmaster.

Origin of beak

1175–1225; Middle English bec < Old French < Latin beccus < Gaulish
Related formsbeaked [beekt, bee-kid] /bikt, ˈbi kɪd/, adjectivebeak·less, adjectivebeak·like, adjectivebeak·y, adjectiveun·der·beak, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for beaky

Historical Examples of beaky

  • "You have not been to see me for ever so long," said she, rubbing her beaky nose.

  • “Right you are, sir,” said Beaky Jem, staring with all his eyes.

    A Little World

    George Manville Fenn

  • When the evening came, the master sat in his room with Beaky and Tweaky.

  • She wanted him to hear; and she didn't care if he understood—him and his beaky mother!

    Far to Seek

    Maud Diver

  • But gradually the sounds died down, till there came the heavy-footed thud of the beaky.

    King of Ranleigh

    F. S. (Frederick Sadlier) Brereton

British Dictionary definitions for beaky


  1. the projecting jaws of a bird, covered with a horny sheath; bill
  2. any beaklike mouthpart in other animals, such as turtles
  3. slang a person's nose, esp one that is large, pointed, or hooked
  4. any projecting part, such as the pouring lip of a bucket
  5. architect the upper surface of a cornice, which slopes out to throw off water
  6. chem the part of a still or retort through which vapour passes to the condenser
  7. nautical another word for ram (def. 5)
Derived Formsbeaked (biːkt), adjectivebeakless, adjectivebeaklike, adjectivebeaky, adjective

Word Origin for beak

C13: from Old French bec, from Latin beccus, of Gaulish origin


  1. a Brit slang word for judge, magistrate, headmaster, schoolmaster

Word Origin for beak

C19: originally thieves' jargon
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

Word Origin and History for beaky



mid-13c., "bird's bill," from Old French bec "beak," figuratively "mouth," also "tip or point of a nose, a lance, a ship, a shoe," from Latin beccus (cf. Italian becco, Spanish pico), said by Suetonius ("De vita Caesarum" 18) to be of Gaulish origin, perhaps from Gaulish beccus, possibly related to Celtic stem bacc- "hook." Or there may be a link in Old English becca "pickax, sharp end." Jocular sense of "human nose" is from 1854 (but also was used mid-15c. in the same sense).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper