Pronunciation: (bēd), [key]
1. a small, usually round object of glass, wood, stone, or the like with a hole through it, often strung with others of its kind in necklaces, rosaries, etc.
a. a necklace of beads: You don't have your beads on this evening.
b. a rosary.
c. Obs.devotions; prayers.
3. any small globular or cylindrical body.
4. a drop of liquid: beads of moisture.
5. a bubble rising through effervescent liquid.
6. Usually, beads. a mass of such bubbles on the surface of a liquid.
7. the front sight of a rifle or gun.
8. a reinforced area of a rubber tire terminating the sidewall and fitting within the rim of a wheel. See illus. under tire.
9. Elect.a glass, ceramic, or plastic insulator that contains and supports the inner conductor in a coaxial cable.
10. Chem.a globule of borax or some other flux, supported on a platinum wire, in which a small amount of some substance is heated in a flame as a test for its constituents.
11. Metall.the rounded mass of refined metal obtained by cupellation.
12. Archit., Furniture.a small molding having a convex circular section and, usually, a continuous cylindrical surface; astragal.
13. Welding.a continuous deposit of fused metal, either straight (stringer bead) or zigzag (weave bead).
14. count, say, or tell one's beads, to say one's prayers, using rosary beads: There were a few old women counting their beads in the hushed silence of the chapel.
15. draw or get a bead on, to take careful aim at: The marksman drew a bead on his target.
1. to form or cause to form beads or a bead on.
2. to ornament with beads.
3. Carpentry.to form a bead on (a piece).
to form beads; form in beads or drops: perspiration beading on his forehead.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.