beach /biːtʃ/


I. noun

a pebbly or sandy shore, especially by the sea between high- and low-water marks

fabulous sandy beaches.
II. verb [with obj.]

1. run or haul up (a boat or ship) on to a beach

at the water’s edge a rowing boat was beached.
2. (of an angler) land (a fish) on a beach.

he managed to beach a fine trout.
3. [no obj.] (also be beached) (of a whale or similar animal) become stranded out of the water

we don’t know what causes whales to beach.
4. leave (someone) at a loss

competitive procurement seems to have beached several firms.
– origin mid 16th cent. (denoting shingle on the seashore): perhaps related to Old English bæce, bece ‘brook’ (an element that survives in place names such as Wis bech and Sand bach), assuming an intermediate sense ‘pebbly river valley’.

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