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Webster 1913 Edition


Beak

Beak

(bēk)
,
Noun.
[OE.
bek
, F.
bec
, fr. Celtic; cf. Gael. & Ir.
bac
,
bacc
,
hook
, W.
bach
.]
1.
(Zool.)
(a)
The bill or nib of a bird, consisting of a horny sheath, covering the jaws. The form varies much according to the food and habits of the bird, and is largely used in the classification of birds.
(b)
A similar bill in other animals, as the turtles.
(c)
The long projecting sucking mouth of some insects, and other invertebrates, as in the Hemiptera.
(d)
The upper or projecting part of the shell, near the hinge of a bivalve.
(e)
The prolongation of certain univalve shells containing the canal.
2.
Anything projecting or ending in a point, like a beak, as a promontory of land.
Carew.
3.
(Antiq.)
A beam, shod or armed at the end with a metal head or point, and projecting from the prow of an ancient galley, in order to pierce the vessel of an enemy; a beakhead.
4.
(Naut.)
That part of a ship, before the forecastle, which is fastened to the stem, and supported by the main knee.
5.
(Arch.)
A continuous slight projection ending in an arris or narrow fillet; that part of a drip from which the water is thrown off.
6.
(Bot.)
Any process somewhat like the beak of a bird, terminating the fruit or other parts of a plant.
7.
(Far.)
A toe clip. See
Clip
,
Noun.
(Far.)
.
8.
A magistrate or policeman.
[Slang, Eng.]

Webster 1828 Edition


Beak

BEAK

,
Noun.
[Eng. peak,pike, &c. The sense is, a shoot, or a point, from thrusting; and this word is connected with a numerous family. See Class Bg.]
1.
The bill, or nib of a bird, consisting of a horny substance, either straight or curving, and ending in a point.
2.
A pointed piece of wood, fortified with brass, resembling a beak, fastened to the end of ancient gallies; intended to pierce the vessels of an enemy. In modern ships, the beak-head is a name given to the forepart of a ship, whose forecastle is square, or oblong; a circumstance common to all ships of war, which have two or more tiers of guns.
Beak or beak-head, that part of a ship, before the forecastle, which is fastened to the stem, and supported by the main knee.
3.
In farriery, a little shoe, at the toe, about an inch long,turned up and fastened in upon the part of the hoof.
4.
Any thing ending in a point, like a beak. This in America is more generally pronounced peak.

BEAK

,
Verb.
T.
Among cock fighters,to take hold with the beak.

Definition 2022


beak

beak

English

Noun

beak (plural beaks)

An Australasian darter (Anhinga novaehollandiae) with her beak wide open
  1. Anatomical uses.
    1. A rigid structure projecting from the front of a bird's face, used for pecking, grooming and for eating food.
    2. A similar structure forming the jaws of an octopus, turtle, etc.
    3. The long projecting sucking mouth of some insects and other invertebrates, as in the Hemiptera.
    4. The upper or projecting part of the shell, near the hinge of a bivalve.
    5. The prolongation of certain univalve shells containing the canal.
    6. (botany) Any process somewhat like the beak of a bird, terminating the fruit or other parts of a plant.
  2. Figurative uses.
    1. Anything projecting or ending in a point like a beak, such as a promontory of land.
      (Can we find and add a quotation of Carew to this entry?)
    2. (architecture) A continuous slight projection ending in an arris or narrow fillet; that part of a drip from which the water is thrown off.
    3. (farriery) A toe clip.
    4. (nautical) That part of a ship, before the forecastle, which is fastened to the stem, and supported by the main knee.
    5. (nautical) A beam, shod or armed at the end with a metal head or point, and projecting from the prow of an ancient galley, used as a ram to pierce the vessel of an enemy; a beakhead.
  3. Colloquial uses.
    1. (slang) The human nose, especially one that is large and pointed.
    2. (slang, Britain) A justice of the peace, magistrate, headmaster or other person of authority.
      • 1866, Temple Bar: A London Magazine for Town and Country Readers
        Harry looked rather bulky, you know, Tom, and the slop (policeman) says, 'Hallo, what you got here?' and by [blank] he took us both before the beak.
      • 2014 January 24, Matthew Norman, “Hercules of the Yard can fix boorish Britain: There's a long list of possible miscreants for the Essex PC who made a splash over a puddle [print version: 25 January 2014]”, in The Daily Telegraph, page 27:
        That an unnamed 22-year-old will be up before the Colchester beak in March under the Road Traffic Act's recherché section 3 – covering inconsiderate driving and with a maximum fine of £5,000 – may at first sight seem a facetious use of court resources.
      • 2014 April 12, Christopher Middleton, “Dream home: one of Chelsea's most historic houses is for sale: We deliver our verdict on a London landmark that comes with an impeccable legal pedigree [print version: What price justice? In this case, a cool £14.5m]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Property), London, page P9:
        In 1854, ill health forced Henry [Fielding] to stop running the organisation that later became the Bow Street Runners, London's first professional police force, and John [Fielding] took over. This despite having lost his sight in a naval accident at the age of 19. He was known as the Blind Beak, and was said to be able to recognise as many as 3,000 criminals by their voices alone.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

beak (third-person singular simple present beaks, present participle beaking, simple past and past participle beaked)

  1. (transitive) Strike with the beak.
  2. (transitive) Seize with the beak.

Anagrams

References

  • Ranko Matasović (2009) Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic, ISBN 978-90-04-17336-1, page 60