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



    BrE BrE//biːd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//biːd//
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  1. 1 [countable] a small piece of glass, wood, etc. with a hole through it, that can be put on a string with others of the same type and worn as jewellery, etc. a necklace of wooden beads A bead curtain separated the two rooms. see also worry beads See related entries: Jewellery
  2. 2 beads [plural] a rosary In one of the pews a woman was fingering her beads.
  3. 3[countable] a small drop of liquid There were beads of sweat on his forehead.
  4. Word OriginOld English gebed ‘prayer’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch bede and German Gebet, also to bid. Current senses derive from the use of a rosary, each bead representing a prayer.Extra examples A strand of coral beads hung round her neck. She threaded the beads carefully. a string of wooden beads Little beads of blood seeped out from a cut on her cheek.Idioms
    draw/get a bead on somebody/something
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    (especially North American English) to aim carefully at somebody/something before shooting a gun One of the police officers drew a bead on the gunman and fired.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: bead