beard /bɪəd/


I. noun

1. a growth of hair on the chin and lower cheeks of a man’s face.

he had a black beard.
[ mass noun]
three days’ growth of beard.
2. a tuft of hair on the chin of certain mammals, for example a lion or goat.
3. an animal’s growth or marking that is likened to a beard, for example the gills of an oyster, or the beak bristles of certain birds.
4. a tuft of hairs or bristles on certain plants, especially the awn of a grass.
‹informal› a person who carries out a transaction, typically a bet, for someone else in order to conceal the other’s identity.

the beard permitted the manipulator to protect the odds.
(N. Amer.)
‹informal› a woman who accompanies a homosexual man as an escort to a social occasion, in order to help conceal his homosexuality.

the closeted male and his female ‘beard’.
II. verb [with obj.]

1. boldly confront or challenge (someone formidable).

he was afraid to beard the sultan himself.
III. phrases

beard the lion in his den (or lair)
confront or challenge someone on their own ground.
IV. derivatives

beardless /ˈbɪədləs /

– origin Old English, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch baard and German Bart.

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