View synonyms for bean



[ been ]


  1. the edible nutritious seed of various plants of the legume family, especially of the genus Phaseolus.
  2. a plant producing such seeds.
  3. the pod of such a plant, especially when immature and eaten as a vegetable.
  4. any of various other beanlike seeds or plants, as the coffee bean.
  5. Slang.
    1. a person's head.
    2. a coin or a bank note considered as a coin:

      I can't pay for the ticket, I don't have a bean in my jeans.

  6. British Informal. a minimum amount of money:

    They've been disinherited and now haven't a bean.

  7. beans, Informal. the slightest amount:

    He doesn't know beans about navigation.

verb (used with object)

  1. Slang. to hit on the head, especially with a baseball.


  1. beans, (used to express disbelief, annoyance, etc.)



[ been ]


  1. Alan L(aVern), 1932–2018, U.S. astronaut.
  2. Roy Judge, 1825?–1903, U.S. frontiersman and justice of the peace: called himself “the law west of the Pecos.”


/ biːn /


  1. any of various leguminous plants of the widely cultivated genus Phaseolus producing edible seeds in pods See French bean lima bean scarlet runner string bean
  2. any of several other leguminous plants that bear edible pods or seeds, such as the broad bean and soya bean
  3. any of various other plants whose seeds are produced in pods or podlike fruits
  4. the seed or pod of any of these plants
  5. any of various beanlike seeds, such as coffee
  6. slang.
    another word for head
  7. cool beans slang.
    excellent; impressive
  8. not have a bean slang.
    to be without money

    I haven't got a bean

  9. full of beans informal.
    1. full of energy and vitality
    2. mistaken; erroneous
  10. spill the beans informal.
    to disclose something confidential
“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


  1. slang.
    tr to hit (a person) on the head
“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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Other Words From

  • beanlike adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of bean1

before 950; Middle English bene, Old English bēan; cognate with Old Norse baun, Old Frisian bāne, Dutch boon, Old Saxon, Old High German bona ( German Bohne ), probably < Germanic *babnō, cognate with Russian bob, Latin faba < European Indo-European *bhabh-
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Word History and Origins

Origin of bean1

Old English bēan ; related to Old Norse baun , Old Frisian bāne , Old High German bōna bean
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. full of beans, Informal.
    1. energetic; vigorously active; vital:

      He is still full of beans at 95.

    2. stupid; erroneous; misinformed.
  2. spill the beans, Informal. to disclose a secret, either accidentally or imprudently, thereby ruining a surprise or plan:

    He spilled the beans, and she knew all about the party in advance.

More idioms and phrases containing bean

see full of beans ; not have a bean ; not know beans ; not worth a dime (bean) ; spill the beans ; tough break (beans) .
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Example Sentences

Once they discovered the ideal host plant, a kind of native bean, the villagers started planting it among their crops and along local pathways.

From Time

It’s very weeknight-friendly, since the stew uses canned beans and comes together quickly — although you could certainly rely on dried beans that you cook yourself.

He ate a lot of rice and beans to ensure that he left me with an inheritance he thought would keep me safe in a world without him.

Winter’s produce is less than inspiring, you’ve done all the things one can do to a bean, and while the digital cook-o-sphere is loaded with ideas, there are just too many of them.

From Eater

The beans should be creamy and crush easily between two fingers.

A French green bean salad with warm goat cheese reminds Ina Garten of having lunch in Paris.

Also making appearances in the early Garfield specials are the original Bilbo Baggins, Orson Bean, and a pre-Cheers George Wendt.

This has occurred with bean bag chairs, children's sweaters, and the Coco The Monkey Teething Toy.

Bean is to dying onscreen what Kevin Bacon is to being connected with every other actor.

Spending time with Bean is somewhat disconcerting after seeing him play so many somber, doomed roles.

Once even a blue bean (a bullet) made sad work with my head, and my fist has got a deuce of a smashing.

Brazilian bean; the common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris, indigenous to America.

Called "Brazilian bean," because it resembled a bean then known in France by that name.

They are coffee-bean-shaped cocci which lie in pairs with their flat surfaces together (Fig. 116).

At daylight he opened another can of beans and made himself two thick bean sandwiches, and walked on while he ate them slowly.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




beamybean aphid