Definition of bead in English:

bead

Line breaks: bead
Pronunciation: /biːd
 
/

noun

1A small piece of glass, stone, or similar material that is threaded with others to make a necklace or rosary or sewn on to fabric: long strings of beads rosary beads she fastened the beads round my neck [as modifier]: a bead bracelet
More example sentences
  • She had green and gold beads for all us gals to put around our necks.
  • Wealthy women might have a string of brightly coloured beads linking the two brooches across the chest.
  • The beads, pendants, and engravings were surprisingly well-preserved.
Synonyms
ball, pellet, pill, globule, spheroid, spherule, sphere, oval, ovoid, orb, round, pearl; (beads)necklace, string of beads; Roman Catholic Churchrosary, chaplet
2A drop of a liquid on a surface: beads of sweat
More example sentences
  • Sometimes, I see beads of glistening sweat dropping off her forehead.
  • Their limbs ached from walking so far and beads of sweat dropped onto the ground from the scorching sun.
  • Seconds later, Mel was back with a towel to wipe salty beads of liquid away from Sam's face.
Synonyms
3A small knob forming the foresight of a gun.
More example sentences
  • He was in the bathroom, he said, when he noticed the red bead of an automatic weapon's sighting trained on him.
  • Rather, they decided on a single fixed-leaf rear sight with a gold bead front sight.
  • It was off to Hamilton Bowen to be bead blasted and re-blued.
4The reinforced inner edge of a pneumatic tyre that grips the rim of the wheel.
More example sentences
  • This is the distance between the vertical edges of the rim where the tire bead seats.
  • Wetting the beads of the tire and/or the mounting surfaces in the rim is important because it makes a better seal against the rim and slides easily onto the bead seat.
  • This refers to diameter of the metal ring, on which the bead of the tire rests.
5An ornamental plaster moulding resembling a string of beads or having a semicircular cross section.
More example sentences
  • Trim Tex shadow bead connects drywall with interior door and window jambs for a clean look, Reader says.
  • The plane is a Grecian ovolo with bead and is designed to cut a one-inch wide profile in half-inch thick stock.
  • If you can't pry out the nails without further damaging the wall, use the snips to cut the bead from around the nailheads.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1 (often as adjective beaded) Decorate or cover with beads: a beaded evening bag
More example sentences
  • They also come braided, beaded, decorated, and high-heeled.
  • Taren said, presenting her with a sword that remained sheathed in an elven leather scabbard, beaded and decorated with the majestic colors of the earth.
  • Mountain-dwelling Hani women in patchwork costumes sell beaded headdresses and bags.
1.1String (beads) together: seashells beaded into belts
More example sentences
  • These pearls are beaded in the form of chains, studs or bangles.
  • After all my bragging about beads, Jim sent me a nice e-mail and asked me if I'd be willing to take a commission to bead him a bracelet.
  • An African Arts Week at Sunnymede Infants School, in Mons Avenue, saw children learn how to bead necklaces ready to dance to traditional music.
2Cover (a surface) with drops of moisture: his face was beaded with perspiration
More example sentences
  • She came out of the bathroom with the pictures of the training facility, then used her mini blow dryer to dry the water which beaded the surface of the prints.
  • Flowers with their petals recently beaded with rain drops have a unique appeal, the very epitome of freshness.
  • The answer is in the minute details of the leaf structure at the surface which beads water and directs it off the leaf, containing a load of dust and other particles.

Origin

Old English gebed 'prayer', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch bede and German Gebet, also to bid2. Current senses derive from the use of a rosary, each bead representing a prayer.

Phrases

draw (or get) a bead on

chiefly North American Take aim at with a gun: I drew a bead on the nape of his neck
More example sentences
  • ‘He drew a bead on me and I drew a bead on him and dropped him,’ Capt. Hornbuckle says. ‘He was not going to stop me from going home.’
  • Turner got a bead on yet another alien ship and loosed a missile from the left pylon.
  • Other times, on other nights that Goodrum himself describes, he'd relive those bleak seconds aboard the USS Missouri when he was in the Navy during the War and a missile drew a bead on his ship.
Synonyms
aim at, fix on, focus on, zero in on, sight
Fully understand or make sense of: it’s hard to draw a bead on the stock market these days
More example sentences
  • The Snowbirds obliged by flying in numbers sufficient for my autofocus to get a bead on them.
  • The purpose of the dance was to prevent snipers from getting a bead on us.
  • Plenty of good spots for a rebel sniper or two with AA artillery to get a bead on an air limo cruising along.

tell one's beads

Use the beads of a rosary in counting prayers.
More example sentences
  • Franz Werfel said of an old woman that she told her beads as though she were knitting garments for the poor.
  • She had remained steadfast in her faith and had continued to tell her beads on her fingers.
  • Josephine kept a long list of intentions and told her beads with the same dispatch with which she cleaned house.

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