from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A growth of hair on the chin, cheeks, and throat of a person, especially a man.
  • noun A tuft or growth of hairs, bristles, or other hairlike threads on a plant or animal.
  • noun One who serves to divert suspicion or attention from another, especially a person of the opposite sex who accompanies a gay man or lesbian to give the impression of heterosexuality.
  • noun Printing The raised slope on a piece of type between the shoulder or counter and the face.
  • transitive verb To furnish with a beard.
  • transitive verb To confront boldly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To take by the beard; seize, pluck, or pull the beard of, in contempt or anger.
  • Figuratively, to oppose to the face; set at defiance.
  • To furnish with a beard, in any sense of the word.
  • In carpentry, to chip, plane, or otherwise diminish from a given line or to a given curve: as, to beard clamps, plank-sheers, etc.; in ship-building, to round, as the adjacent parts of the rudder and stern-post, or the dead-wood, so as to adapt them to the shape of the vessel.
  • To remove the beard or fringe from, as from oysters.
  • To grow a beard, or become bearded.
  • noun Also, a projecting flap of metal soldered to a pipe close to its mouth to improve its “speech.” Beards are common on either side of the mouth, and in some kinds of pipe are carried across below the mouth as well. The former are side-beards, the latter cross-beards.
  • noun plural A breed of pigeons of which the most distinctive character is a crescent-shaped patch of white on the throat just below the beak.
  • noun The close growth of hair on the chin and parts of the face normally characteristic of an adult man; more specifically, the hair of the face and chin when allowed to remain wholly or in part unshaved, that on the upper lip being distinguished as the mustache, and the remainder as the whiskers, or the side-whiskers, chin-whiskers or -beard, etc., according as the beard is trimmed: as, to wear a beard, or a full beard.
  • noun In zoöl., some part or appendage likened to the human beard.
  • noun In botany:
  • noun A barb or sharp process of an arrow, a fish-hook, or other instrument, bent backward from the point, to prevent it from being easily drawn out.
  • noun The hook for retaining the yarn at the extremity of the needle in a knitting-machine.
  • noun In organ-building, a spring-piece on the back of a lock-bolt to hold it moderately firm and prevent it from rattling in its guides.
  • noun The part of a horse which bears the curb of a bridle, underneath the lower mandible and above the chin.
  • noun The train of a comet when the comet is receding from the sun (in which case the train precedes the head).
  • noun In printing, the outward-sloping part of a type which connects the face with the shoulder of the body. It is obsolete, type being now made with high square shoulders, to lighten the work of the electrotyper.
  • noun The sharp edge of a board.
  • noun in Egyptian antiquity, a singular artificial beard, often represented on monuments and mummy-cases, held under the chin by bands attached to the wearer's casque or head-dress.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To take by the beard; to seize, pluck, or pull the beard of (a man), in anger or contempt.
  • transitive verb To oppose to the face; to set at defiance.
  • transitive verb To deprive of the gills; -- used only of oysters and similar shellfish.
  • noun The hair that grows on the chin, lips, and adjacent parts of the human face, chiefly of male adults.
  • noun The long hairs about the face in animals, as in the goat.
  • noun The cluster of small feathers at the base of the beak in some birds.
  • noun The appendages to the jaw in some Cetacea, and to the mouth or jaws of some fishes.
  • noun The byssus of certain shellfish, as the muscle.
  • noun The gills of some bivalves, as the oyster.
  • noun In insects, the hairs of the labial palpi of moths and butterflies.
  • noun (Bot.) Long or stiff hairs on a plant; the awn.
  • noun A barb or sharp point of an arrow or other instrument, projecting backward to prevent the head from being easily drawn out.
  • noun That part of the under side of a horse's lower jaw which is above the chin, and bears the curb of a bridle.
  • noun (Print.) That part of a type which is between the shoulder of the shank and the face.
  • noun obsolete An imposition; a trick.
  • noun (Bot.) a coarse, perennial grass of different species of the genus Andropogon.
  • noun to one's face; in open defiance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Facial hair on the chin, cheeks and jaw.
  • noun LGBT, slang A woman who accompanies a gay male in order to give the impression that he is heterosexual.
  • verb obsolete To grow hair on the chin and jaw.
  • verb To boldly and bravely oppose or confront, often to the chagrin of the one being bearded.
  • verb transitive To take by the beard; to seize, pluck, or pull the beard of (a man), in anger or contempt.
  • verb transitive To deprive (an oyster or similar shellfish) of the gills.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun hairy growth on or near the face of certain mammals


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English berd, from Old English beard; see bhardh-ā- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English berd, from Old English beard, from Proto-Germanic *bardaz (cf. West Frisian burd, Dutch baard, German Bart), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰardʰ-eh₂ (cf. Latin barba, Lithuanian barzda, Russian борода (borodá), Albanian brazdë ("furrow")).


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  • World Beard Championships: 'The World Beard and Moustache Championships will return to North America for the second time in its history when the City of Anchorage, Alaska rolls out the red carpet for the world's bearded elite on May 23, 2009. The biennial celebration of facial hair is open to everyone. The host for this event is the South Central Alaska Beard and Moustache Club which is committed to making the WBMC 2009 the biggest and best ever... The newly formed Australian beard team, the Australian Bushrangers is bringing its own band -- The Beards -- to play "songs about beards, for people with beards" at the Friday night opening party. '

    July 1, 2008

  • I vote we enter skipvia in this as the official Wordie representative.

    July 1, 2008

  • I don't think I'd ever heard "beard" used as a verb meaning "to confront boldly" until now:

    "Already she was beginning to be carried away by the idea of bearding Gert Bigger in her den. She imagined herself armed with a great book from which she read strange grim-sounding incantations, magic words that would bring Gert Bigger to her knees and make her bring Mrs. Zimmermann back from . . . from wherever Gert Bigger had sent her."

    The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring by John Bellairs, p 132 of the Puffin paperback edition.

    March 8, 2010

  • I'm looking for a sense of the noun that means "provocation, taunt, gird" one that picks up the verbal sense of "challenge, confront boldly". I'm sure I;ve seen this usage, but don't find it in OED.

    July 3, 2011

  • She would beard Judith as soon as she got home. Cold Comfort Farm.

    February 23, 2013

  • Confront boldly

    May 25, 2016