A beam is a structural element that is capable of withstanding load primarily by resisting bending. The bending force induced into the material of the beam as a result of the external loads, own weight, span and external reactions to these loads is called a bending moment.

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  1. Any large piece of timber or iron long in proportion to its thickness, and prepared for use.
  2. One of the principal horizontal timbers of a building; one of the transverse members of a ship's frame on which the decks are laid - supported at the sides by knees in wooden ships and by stringers in steel ones.
  3. The maximum width of a vessel
    This ship has more beam than that one.
  4. The crossbar of a mechanical balance, from the ends of which the scales are suspended.
  5. The principal stem of the antler of a deer.
  6. The pole of a carriage.
  7. A cylinder of wood, making part of a loom, on which weavers wind the warp before weaving and the cylinder on which the cloth is rolled, as it is woven.
  8. The straight part or shank of an anchor.
  9. The central bar of a plow, to which the handles and colter are secured, and to the end of which are attached the oxen or horses that draw it.
  10. In steam engines, a heavy iron lever having an oscillating motion on a central axis, one end of which is connected with the piston rod from which it receives motion, and the other with the crank of the wheel shaft.
  11. A ray or collection of parallel rays emitted from the sun or other luminous body
    a beam of light
  12. A ray; a gleam
    a beam of hope, or of comfort
  13. One of the long feathers in the wing of a hawk.
  14. A horizontal bar which connects the stems of two or more notes to group them and to indicate metric value.
  15. An elevated rectangular dirt pile used to cheaply build an elevated portion of a railway.


  1. To emit beams of light; shine; radiate.
    to beam forth light
  2. To smile broadly or especially cheerfully.
  3. To furnish or supply with beams; give the appearance of beams to.
  4. To transmit matter or information via a high-tech wireless mechanism.
    Beam me up, Scotty; there's no intelligent life down here.
  5. To stretch on a beam, as a hide.
  6. To put on a beam, as a chain or web.
  7. To connect (musical notes) with a beam, or thick line, in music notation.

The above text is a snippet from Wiktionary: beam
and as such is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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