1. A growth of hair on the chin, cheeks, and throat of a person, especially a man.
2. A tuft or growth of hairs, bristles, or other hairlike threads on a plant or animal.
3. 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.
4. Printing The raised slope on a piece of type between the shoulder or counter and the face.Also called neck.
tr.v.beard·ed, beard·ing, beards
1. To furnish with a beard.
2. To confront boldly.
[Middle Englishberd, fromOld Englishbeard; see bhardh-ā- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)
(click for a larger image)beard
top: on wheat
bottom: on a male turkey's breast
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.