- noun a long block of wood or metal which supports a structure, especially a roof
- verb to give a big happy smile
- noun a long thick metal bar used as a support
- noun a shaft of light or radiation travelling in one direction, as from a car’s headlights
- noun a narrow set of light or electron rays
- A horizontal structural member, such as a girder, rafter, or purlin, that transversely supports a load and transfers the load to vertical members, such as columns and walls.
- The graduated horizontal bar of a weighing scale.
- A concentrated and essentially unidirectional stream of radiated energy, such as radio waves, or particles, such as electrons. Other examples include light beams, laser beams, and neutron beams.
- A signal transmitted in a given direction, such as that of an antenna or radio beacon.
- verb to broadcast radio or television signals to a particular place
- noun a horizontal structure that spans a gap and supports a floor, roof or other structure above it
- noun a narrow horizontal wooden bar on legs that women gymnasts stand on to perform balancing exercises
Origin & History of “beam”
In Old English times the word bēam (like modern German baum) meant ‘tree’ – a signification preserved in tree-names such as hornbeam and whitebeam. But already before the year 1000 the extended meanings we are familiar with today – ‘piece of timber’ and ‘ray of light’ – had started to develop. Related forms in other Germanic languages (which include, as well as German baum, Dutch boom, from which English gets boom ‘spar’ (16th c.)) suggest a west Germanic ancestor *bauma, but beyond that all is obscure.