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 curtain
    More example sentences
    • So she rounded up glass beads, semi-precious stones, and sterling silver wire and created her collection of one-of-a-kind rings.
    • The excavators found Roman glass beads from a necklace and one gaming counter.
    • He deftly picks up different objects such as glass stones, beads and white metal piping and threads it aesthetically on a black cotton thread to make a necklace.
    Synonyms
    ball, pellet, pill, globule, spheroid, spherule, sphere, oval, ovoid, orb, round, pearl; (beads) necklace, string of beads; Roman Catholic Church rosary, chaplet
  • 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.

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.

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.

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