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



    BrE BrE//biːm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//biːm//
    Structures, How a building looks, Facial expressions
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  1. 1a line of light, electric waves or particles narrow beams of light/sunlight the beam of a torch/flashlight a laser/electron beam (British English) The car's headlights were on full beam (= shining as brightly as possible and not directed downwards). (North American English) a car with its high beams on
  2. 2a long piece of wood, metal, etc. used to support weight, especially as part of the roof in a building The cottage had exposed oak beams. See related entries: Structures, How a building looks
  3. 3(especially British English) (usually North American English balance beam) a wooden bar that is used in the sport of gymnastics for people to move and balance on The gymnast performed a somersault on the beam.
  4. 4a wide and happy smile a beam of satisfaction Wordfinderbeam, expression, frown, grimace, grin, leer, scowl, smirk, sneer, wince See related entries: Facial expressions
  5. Word OriginOld English bēam ‘tree, beam’, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch boom and German Baum.Extra examples He played the beam of his torch over the wall of the cave. He was suddenly caught in the full beam of a searchlight. They focus a high-powered X-ray beam on the affected area. a car with its headlights on full beam a cosy pub with exposed oak beams a cottage with original beams and a thatched roof an old house with exposed oak beams car headlights on full beam the beam from the lighthouse A concrete beam was put in to replace the wall we removed. The cottage had low ceilings with exposed dark oak beams. The missiles are bolted to reinforced beams in the floor.Idioms (informal) not correct; wrong Your calculation is way off beam.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: beam