Pronunciation: (bēm'endz"), [key]
1. Naut.the ends of the transverse deck beams of a vessel.
2. on her beam-ends, Naut.heeled so far on one side that the deck is practically vertical: The schooner was blown over on her beam-ends.
3. on one's or the beam-ends, Slang.in desperate straits, esp. financial straits. Also,on the beam's ends.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.