Definition of beard in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbird/


1A growth of hair on the chin and lower cheeks of a man’s face: he had a black beard three days' growth of beard
More example sentences
  • They contain more blood than essence in men, and thus promote the growth of the beard and body hair.
  • Euthenas giggled as the whiskery hairs of his beard tickled her cheeks.
  • The two six-year-old boys described the man who approached them as white, aged about 40, with some beard growth on his chin.
facial hair, whiskers, stubble, five o'clock shadow, bristles;
goatee, imperial, Vandyke
1.1A tuft of hair on the chin of certain mammals, for example a lion or goat.
Example sentences
  • Most of them show an animal with cloven hoofs and a beard like a goat, or sometimes a mane like a horse.
  • The small head is solid gold in colour, with a happy, playful expression, wide square jaw and a red beard.
  • The tail is short and tipped with black; ears have long black tufts and cheeks have long pale ruffs which form a pointed beard at the throat.
1.2An animal’s growth or marking that is likened to a beard, e.g., the gills of an oyster, or the beak bristles of certain birds.
Example sentences
  • Turkey beards (likened to human scalps) were used for some of the vertical elements of traditional Osage hair roaches.
  • The beard and whiskers are white or grey, the forehead band and mane are white to yellow-white.
  • A bird shot by a 9-year-old of Lebanon set new Oregon state records for weight, beard length and overall score.
1.3A tuft of hairs or bristles on certain plants, especially the awn of a grass.
Example sentences
  • I've named it after Henri Becquerel in honour of the plant's peculiar beard.
  • Decorate each ‘ear’ with two leaves and spun sugar to resemble corn beards.
  • The beard and branches are cut off to leave only the best part of the ginseng, however the head is left on for consumers to better assess the quality of the herb.
2US informal A person who carries out a transaction, typically a bet, for someone else in order to conceal the other’s identity.
Example sentences
  • When a betable edge between their results and the line is seen, their movers or beards pound the books.
  • So beards, carrying their myriad associations with dissent and disorder, shiftiness and oddness, are considered dangerous vote - losers.
  • Beards can be anyone and can be found in casino-based sportsbooks and even online books.
2.1North American informal A person who pretends to have a romantic or sexual relationship with someone else in order to conceal the other’s true sexual orientation.
Example sentences
  • So they decided to obscure their relationship, taking a female pal along as Sie's de facto beard.
  • One of her very gay friends has a Hampton wedding to his very female beard.
  • True, their female beard friend is over in the isolation booth but there's nothing really gay about the "altered" photo.


[with object]
Boldly confront or challenge (someone formidable).
Example sentences
  • I missed my daily dose of Prof. Quiggin for a week or so, due to his spam crisis, so I didn't notice that the Professor's commenters were already bearding this interesting question…
  • Cue Albertz on Friday, bursting into the Sunday assembly and bearding my colleague, the sepulchral Hugh Keevins, accusing him of invention, hyperbole and all manner of crimes against the natural order.
  • But at least by bearding MacDiarmid, Muir drew out into the open the issue of language which continues to occupy - if not preoccupy - Scottish poets today.
confront, face, challenge, brave, come face to face with, meet head on;
defy, oppose, stand up against, dare, throw down the gauntlet to


beard the lion in his den (or lair)

Confront or challenge someone on their own ground.
Example sentences
  • So, to put it in a nutshell, you must grab the bull by the horns and beard the lion in his den.
  • And so might I, with profit to us all, beard the lion in his den, and failing if fail I must, succeed.
  • She would meet Julius, persuade him to her point of view, and they would beard the lion in his den.



Pronunciation: /ˈbirdləs/
Example sentences
  • His face was smooth and beardless, a testament to his youth, with high cheekbones and a delicate looking nose and mouth.
  • The Santa Claus at Southgate Mall does wear a red-and-white suit, but otherwise he's tall, young, thin, beardless - and white.
  • It suggests a sense of humour, a willingness to make an effort, an aspiration towards the airy, healthy, beardless Scandinavian lifestyle.


Old English; related to Dutch baard and German Bart.

  • As well as referring to a man's facial hair, beard, which is related to Latin barba ‘beard’, is used of the chin tuft of certain animals, such as a lion and a goat. These uses come together in the phrase to beard the lion in his den or lair, ‘to confront or challenge someone on their own ground’. To invade someone's personal space enough to be able to touch or pull their beard was always an aggressive or provocative act—in 1587 the English sailor and explorer Francis Drake (c.1540–96) described his expedition to Cadiz as ‘the singeing of the King of Spain's Beard’. In the Middle Ages to run in someone's beard was to defy him, and by the 16th century you could simply ‘beard someone’. Clearly this stopped being fearsome enough, and lions were introduced in the 18th century.

Words that rhyme with beard


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: beard

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