[ been ]
See synonyms for bean on
  1. the edible nutritious seed of various plants of the legume family, especially of the genus Phaseolus.

  2. a plant producing such seeds.

  1. the pod of such a plant, especially when immature and eaten as a vegetable.

  2. any of various other beanlike seeds or plants, as the coffee bean.

  3. Slang.

    • a person's head.

    • 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.

  4. British Informal. a minimum amount of money: They've been disinherited and now haven't a bean.

  5. 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.).

Idioms about bean

  1. full of beans, Informal.

    • energetic; vigorously active; vital: He is still full of beans at 95.

    • 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.

Origin of bean

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-

Other words from bean

  • beanlike, adjective

Words that may be confused with bean

Other definitions for Bean (2 of 2)

[ 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.” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use bean in a sentence

  • When a convenient number of coffee-beans is used (any multiple of 100), the percentage calculation is extremely easy.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
  • Beans and bacon, cabbage and brown hard dumplings, formed the bill of fare, which the men washed down with plenty of table beer.

    The World Before Them | Susanna Moodie
  • Vegetable caseine is best obtained by treating peas or beans with hot water, and straining the fluid.

  • It has been obtained for chemical examination, principally from peas and beans, and from the almond and oats.

  • It consisted of farinha, kidney-beans, and dried beef, a fixed measure of each to every person.

British Dictionary definitions for bean


/ (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

  1. any of various other plants whose seeds are produced in pods or podlike fruits

  2. the seed or pod of any of these plants

  3. any of various beanlike seeds, such as coffee

  4. US and Canadian slang another word for head

  5. cool beans slang excellent; impressive

  6. not have a bean slang to be without money: I haven't got a bean

  7. full of beans informal

    • full of energy and vitality

    • US mistaken; erroneous

  8. spill the beans informal to disclose something confidential

  1. mainly US and Canadian slang (tr) to hit (a person) on the head

Origin of bean

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

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 bean


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

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