[ beem ]
/ bim /
any of various relatively long pieces of metal, wood, stone, etc., manufactured or shaped especially for use as rigid members or parts of structures or machines.
Building Trades. a horizontal bearing member, as a joist or lintel.
Engineering. a rigid member or structure supported at each end, subject to bending stresses from a direction perpendicular to its length.
- a horizontal structural member, usually transverse, for supporting the decks and flats of a vessel.
- the extreme width of a vessel.
- the shank of an anchor.
Aeronautics. the direction perpendicular to the plane of symmetry of an aircraft and outward from the side.
the widest part.
Slang. the measure across both hips or buttocks: broad in the beam.
- walking beam.
- (in a loom) a roller or cylinder on which the warp is wound before weaving.
- a similar cylinder on which cloth is wound as it is woven.
the crossbar of a balance, from the ends of which the scales or pans are suspended.
a ray of light: The sun shed its beams upon the vineyard.
a group of nearly parallel rays.
Radio, Aeronautics. a signal transmitted along a narrow course, used to guide pilots through darkness, bad weather, etc.
Electronics. a narrow stream of electrons, as that emitted from the electron gun of a cathode ray tube.
the angle at which a microphone or loudspeaker functions best.
the cone-shaped range of effective use of a microphone or loudspeaker.
Citizens Band Radio Slang. beam antenna.
a gleam; suggestion: a beam of hope.
a radiant smile.
the principal stem of the antler of a deer.
verb (used with object)
to emit in or as in beams or rays.
Radio. to transmit (a signal) in a particular direction.
Radio and Television. to direct (a program, commercial message, etc.) to a predetermined audience.
verb (used without object)
to emit beams, as of light.
to smile radiantly or happily.
Content related to beam
Quotes On The Importance Of Your MindRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Words nearby beam
Idioms for beam
beam in, Citizens Band Radio Slang. to be received under optimum conditions; be heard loud and clear: They told me I was really beaming in.
fly the beam, Radio, Aeronautics. (of an aircraft) to be guided by a beam.
- not on the course indicated by a radio beam.
- Informal. wrong; incorrect: The pollsters were off the beam again for the last presidential election.
- on the course indicated by a radio beam, as an airplane.
- Nautical. at right angles to the keel.
- Informal. proceeding well; correct; exact: Their research is right on the beam and the results should be very valuable.
off the beam,
on the beam,
Origin of beam
before 900; Middle English beem, Old English bēam tree, post, ray of light; cognate with Old Frisian bām, Old Saxon bōm, Dutch boom, Old High German boum (German Baum), Gothic bagms, Old Norse bathmr tree; the identity of the consonant which has assimilated itself to the following m is unclear, as is the original root; perhaps Germanic *bagmaz < *bargmaz < Indo-European *bhorǵh-mos growth; see barrow2
OTHER WORDS FROM beam
beam·less, adjectivebeam·like, adjectiveout·beam, verb (used with object)un·beamed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for on the beam
/ (biːm) /
a long thick straight-sided piece of wood, metal, concrete, etc, esp one used as a horizontal structural member
any rigid member or structure that is loaded transversely
the breadth of a ship or boat taken at its widest part, usually amidships
a ray or column of light, as from a beacon
a broad smile
one of the two cylindrical rollers on a loom, one of which holds the warp threads before weaving, the other the finished work
the main stem of a deer's antler from which the smaller branches grow
the central shaft of a plough to which all the main parts are attached
a narrow unidirectional flow of electromagnetic radiation or particlesa beam of light; an electron beam
the horizontal centrally pivoted bar in a balance
informal the width of the hips (esp in the phrase broad in the beam)
a beam in one's eye a fault or grave error greater in oneself than in another person
off beam or off the beam
- not following a radio beam to maintain a course
- informal wrong, mistaken, or irrelevant
on the beam
- following a radio beam to maintain a course
- nautical opposite the beam of a vessel; abeam
- informal correct, relevant, or appropriate
to send out or radiate (rays of light)
(tr) to divert or aim (a radio signal or broadcast, light, etc) in a certain directionto beam a programme to Tokyo
to pass (data, esp business card details, etc) from one hand-held computer to another by means of infrared beams
(intr) to smile broadly with pleasure or satisfaction
Derived forms of beam
beamed, adjectivebeaming, adjective, nounbeamless, adjectivebeamlike, adjective
Word Origin for beam
Old English beam; related to Gothic bagms tree, Old High German boum tree
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
Idioms and Phrases with on the beam (1 of 2)
on the beam
see under off the beam.
Idioms and Phrases with on the beam (2 of 2)
see broad in the beam; off the beam.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.