Definition of beach noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//biːtʃ//
; NAmE NAmE//biːtʃ//
Rivers and lakes
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  an area of sand or small stones (called shingle), beside the sea or a lake tourists sunbathing on the beach a sandy/pebble/shingle beach a beach bar Synonymscoastbeach seaside coastline sand seashoreThese are all words for the land beside or near to the sea, a river or a lake.coast the land beside or near to the sea or ocean:a town on the south coast of England The coast road is closed due to bad weather. It is nearly always the coast, except when it is uncountable:That’s a pretty stretch of coast.beach an area of sand, or small stones, beside the sea or a lake:She took the kids to the beach for the day. sandy beachesseaside (especially British English) an area that is by the sea, especially one where people go for a day or a holiday:a trip to the seaside It is always the seaside, except when it is used before a noun:a seaside resort. The seaside is British English; in American English seaside is only used before a noun.coastline the land along a coast, especially when you are thinking of its shape or appearance:California’s rugged coastlinesand a large area of sand on a beach:We went for a walk along the sand. a resort with miles of golden sandsthe seashore the land along the edge of the sea or ocean, usually where there is sand and rocks:He liked to look for shells on the seashore.beach or seashore? Beach is usually used to talk about a sandy area next to the sea where people lie in the sun or play, for example when they are on holiday/​vacation. Seashore is used more to talk about the area by the sea in terms of things such as waves, sea shells, rocks, etc, especially where people walk for pleasure.Patterns along the coast/​beach/​coastline/​seashore on the coast/​beach/​coastline/​sands/​seashore at the coast/​beach/​seaside/​seashore by the coast/​seaside/​seashore a(n) rocky/​unspoiled coast/​beach/​coastline to go to the coast/​beach/​seaside/​seashore Wordfinderbeach, cliff, coast, dune, headland, inlet, promontory, sea, shore, tide Wordfinderbeach, coast, harbour, pier, sandbank, sea, shoreline, surf, tide, wave Cultureseaside and beachIn the 18th century British people started going to the seaside (= places by the sea) for pleasure and for their health. Seaside towns such as Brighton, Lyme Regis and Scarborough became fashionable with the upper class. Bathing in the sea became popular and bathing machines were invented for people to get changed in. Later, towns like Blackpool, Clacton-on-Sea and Margate, which were close to industrial areas or to London, developed into large seaside resorts to which workers went for a day out or for their holiday. Long piers were built stretching out to sea and soon had a wide range of amusements built on them. Promenades (= wide paths) were built along the shore for people to walk along. Rows of beach huts and chalets (= buildings where people could get changed or sit and have tea) took the place of bathing machines, and deckchairs were for hire on the beach. There were ice-cream sellers, whelk stalls, stalls selling buckets and spades for children to build sandcastles, and the occasional Punch and Judy show. In the early 1900s it became popular to send seaside postcards to friends. Children bought seaside rock, a long sugary sweet with the name of the place printed through it.Most British people like to go to the sea for a day out or for a weekend. Resorts like Blackpool are still popular, but others are run-down and rather quiet. British people now prefer to go on holiday to beach resorts in Spain, Greece or the Caribbean because the weather is more likely to be sunny and warm.Americans talk of going to the ocean or the beach, rather than the seaside. Some places, especially on the East coast, have very popular beaches and people travel long distances to go there. Florida is especially popular and at spring break (= a holiday in the spring for high school and college students) it is full of students.Beach activities include swimming, surfing (= riding on top of the waves on a long board) and windsurfing, also called sailboarding (= standing on a board with a sail on it). Many people go to the beach but never go into the water. They spend their time playing games like volleyball (= hitting a large ball backwards and forwards over a net) and Frisbee (= throwing a flat plastic disc). Other people go to the beach to get a tan (= a darker skin from being in the sun) and spend all their time sunbathing (= lying down in the sun). Many people worry about getting skin cancer if they get burnt by the sun and so put on sun cream or sun block to protect their skin. A day at the beach often also involves a picnic meal or, especially in the US, a barbecue (= meat cooked over an open fire). See related entries: Rivers and lakes Word Originmid 16th cent. (denoting shingle on the seashore): perhaps related to Old English bæce, bece ‘brook’ (an element that survives in place names such as Wisbech and Sandbach), assuming an intermediate sense ‘pebbly river valley’.Extra examples He walked along the beach. She lay on the beach and read her book. The island group has over 230 miles of pristine tropical beaches. They met at the beach. They sat on a grassy hill overlooking the beach. a beautiful golden beach stretching for miles She met him in a beach bar. She took the kids to the beach for the day. There are miles of beautiful sandy beaches. To the south is West Bay, a small port with a shingle beach. We could see tourists sunbathing on the beach.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: beach