bead

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bead / bēd/ • n. 1. a small piece of glass, stone, or similar material, typically rounded and perforated for threading with others as a necklace or rosary or for sewing onto fabric. ∎  (beads) a necklace made of a string of beads. ∎  (beads) a rosary. 2. something resembling a bead or a string of beads, in particular: ∎  a drop of a liquid on a surface: beads of sweat. ∎  a small knob forming the front sight of a gun. ∎  the reinforced inner edge of a pneumatic tire that grips the rim of the wheel. • v. [tr.] 1. [often as adj.] (beaded) decorate or cover with beads: a beaded evening bag. ∎  string (beads) together. 2. (often be beaded) cover (a surface) with drops of moisture: his face was beaded with perspiration.

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bead.
1. Convex moulding, often of semicircular section, also called astragal, baguet(te), half-round, or roundel. If ornamented, it is a chaplet. A bead-moulding is a bead that does not project, also called a reed if several occur together in parallel lines. Beading is enrichment consisting of a row of small balls resembling a string of beads, called beadwork, or pearling, common in Romanesque work, and revived in C18.

2. A prayer (referring to beads on a string as mnemonics for prayers), so a bead- or bede-house was a type of almshouse, the inmates of which were required to pray in an adjacent chapel or church for the founder's soul.

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beadaccede, bead, Bede, bleed, breed, cede, concede, creed, deed, Eid, exceed, feed, Gide, God speed, greed, he'd, heed, impede, interbreed, intercede, Jamshid, knead, lead, mead, Mede, meed, misdeed, mislead, misread, need, plead, proceed, read, rede, reed, Reid, retrocede, screed, secede, seed, she'd, speed, stampede, steed, succeed, supersede, Swede, tweed, weak-kneed, we'd, weed •breastfeed • greenfeed • dripfeed •chickenfeed • spoonfeed • nosebleed •Nibelungenlied • invalid • Ganymede •Runnymede • airspeed • millipede •velocipede • centipede • Siegfried •filigreed • copyread • crossbreed •proofread • flaxseed • hayseed •rapeseed • linseed • pumpkinseed •aniseed • oilseed • birdseed • ragweed •knapweed • seaweed • chickweed •stinkweed • blanket weed • bindweed •pondweed • duckweed • tumbleweed •fireweed • waterweed • silverweed

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bead †prayer OE.; (pl.) rosary; ornamental perforated object XIV. OE. bedu (ME. bede partly aphetic from ibede, OE. ġebed) = OS. beda, OHG. beta (and gibet, G. gebet), Goth. bida; f. Gmc. *beð- BID.

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bead originally meaning ‘prayer’, current senses derive from the use of a rosary, each bead representing a prayer. Beadsman is a historical term for a pensioner provided for by a benefactor.