Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: JEWELLERY

Language: Old English
Origin: bed, gebed 'prayer'; because people counted beads while saying their prayers

bead

noun
     
bead [countable]
1DCJ one of a set of small, usually round, pieces of glass, wood, plastic etc, that you can put on a string and wear as jewellery:
She wore a string of green glass beads around her neck.
2 a small drop of liquid such as water or blood:
Beads of sweat trickled down his face.
3

draw a bead on somebody/something

PMW to aim carefully before shooting a weapon
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