bean /biːn/


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]
(N. Amer.)
‹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.]

(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.

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