I. noun 1. an edible seed, typically kidney-shaped, growing in long pods on certain leguminous plants. • a tin of beans.
• beans on toast.
• [as modifier]
a bean casserole.
2. the hard seed of coffee, cocoa, and certain other plants. 3. a leguminous plant that bears beans in pods.● Phaseolus and other genera, family Leguminosae: numerous species, including the runner bean ( P. coccineus), French bean ( P. vulgaris), and broad bean ( Vicia faba). 4. ( also beans) [with negative] —
‹informal› a very small amount or nothing at all of something (used emphatically)
• there is not a single bean of substance in the report.
5. used in reference to money • he didn’t have a bean.
‹dated› a person’s head, especially when regarded as a source of common sense.
• this morning the old bean seems to be functioning in a slow way.
II. verb — [with obj.] 1.
(chiefly N. Amer.) hit (someone) on the head
• she picked up a rock and beaned him on the forehead.
III. phrases 1. full of beans
‹informal› lively; in high spirits.
• she was laughing and shouting and generally full of beans.
2. know how many beans make five
‹informal› be sensible and intelligent.
• Emily certainly knew how many beans made five.
3. old bean
‹dated› a friendly form of address to a man.
• great to see you, old bean!
– origin Old English bēan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch boon and German Bohne.