See more synonyms for sunbeam on

Origin of sunbeam

before 1000; Middle English sunnebem, Old English sun(ne)bēam. See sun, beam
Related formssun·beamed, sun·beam·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sunbeam

Historical Examples of sunbeam

  • The sunbeam had vanished, not only from the page, but from the room.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • A sunbeam, escaping from beneath a cloud, gilded the fine drops of water.

  • Fluffy, tell Downy the little story I told you the other day, about the sunbeam.

    Five Mice in a Mouse-trap

    Laura E. Richards

  • The 'Sunbeam' left Macassar on the evening of the 20th of April.

    The Last Voyage

    Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey

  • Calling at Trincomalee en route, the 'Sunbeam' next proceeded to Burmah.

    The Last Voyage

    Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey

British Dictionary definitions for sunbeam


  1. a beam, ray, or stream of sunlight
  2. Australian slang a piece of crockery or cutlery laid for a meal but remaining unused
Derived Formssunbeamed or sunbeamy, adjective
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 sunbeam

Old English, from sun (n.) + beam (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper