Definition of abeam in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈbēm/


1On a line at right angles to a ship’s or an aircraft’s length.
Example sentences
  • After burning down fuel, we flew by the ship, close abeam.
  • The ship won't point into the wind, you have to have the wind astern or at least abeam.
  • Because the ram was the only ship-smashing weapon available, fleets fought in line abeam so as to present as many rams to the enemy as possible.
1.1 (abeam of) Opposite the middle of (a ship or aircraft): she was lying almost abeam of us [as preposition]: before I knew it, I was abeam the ship
More example sentences
  • He instructed an exhausted, unqualified third mate to turn the ship when it came abeam of Busby Island.
  • The airplane impacted a swampy area inverted, abeam of the departure end of Runway 20 and about 120 south of the runway.
  • For unknown reasons, as it crossed the bar, the vessel turned northwest bringing it abeam of the breaking waves.


Mid 19th century: from a-2 (expressing general direction) + beam.

Words that rhyme with abeam

agleam, beam, blaspheme, bream, deem, deme, downstream, dream, esteem, extreme, gleam, hakim, kilim, meme, midstream, Nîmes, régime, scheme, scream, seam, seem, steam, stream, supreme, team, teem, theme, upstream

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: a·beam

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