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1. A growth of hair on the chin, cheeks, and throat of a person, especially a man.
2. A tuft or growth of hairs, bristles, or other hairlike threads on a plant or animal.
3. One who serves to divert suspicion or attention from another, especially a person of the opposite sex who accompanies a gay man or lesbian to give the impression of heterosexuality.
4. Printing The raised slope on a piece of type between the shoulder or counter and the face. Also called neck.
tr.v. beard·ed, beard·ing, beards
1. To furnish with a beard.
2. To confront boldly.

[Middle English berd, from Old English beard; see bhardh-ā- in Indo-European roots.]

beard′less adj.


Medicine. 1. an excessive growth of beard.
2. the development of a beard by a woman.
a treatise on beards. — pogonologist, n.
an admirer of beards; a student of beards.
an abnormal fear or dislike of beards.
the cutting of beards.
the cultivation of beards, beard-growing.




  1. Bearded as Abraham —George Garrett
  2. Bearded like a black sky before a storm —George Garrett
  3. Beard not clipped, but flowing like a bridal veil —Sinclair Lewis
  4. Beards like Spanish moss —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  5. Beard stiff and jutting like a Michelangelo prophet —Harvey Swados
  6. Bristly gray beard … as rusted as old iron —Paige Mitchell
  7. Flecks of premature gray in his beard, like the first seeds of age beginning to sprout in him —Ross Macdonald
  8. Gray beard like a goat’s chin tuft —Ernest Hemingway
  9. A heavy black beard that grew high on his cheeks like a mask —James Crumley
  10. His beard is like a bird’s nest, woven with dark silks —Bobbie Ann Mason
  11. His red beard looked like a toy doctor’s beard stuck on a child’s face —Gloria Norris
  12. His sideburn, shaped like the outline of Italy, juts out onto his jaw —Bobbie Ann Mason
  13. Long beard was spread out like a little blanket on his chest —Willis Johnson
  14. Massive sideburns hung like stirrups on either side of his face —Ross Macdonald
  15. A neat little beard, like a bird’s nest, cupped his chin —Bobbie Ann Mason
  16. A shadow of beard lay over his bony cheeks like soot on a chimney sweep —W. T. Tyler
  17. Sideburns like brackets —Max Shulman
  18. Sideburns stood like powerful bushy pillars to the beard —Saul Bellow
  19. A small goatee stuck to his chin like a swab of surgical cotton —Dorothea Straus
  20. A two-day growth of beard that made him look like a cactus —Sue Grafton
  21. Whiskers grew like small creeper upon a scorched face —Frank Swinnerton
References in classic literature ?
Young girls have laughed and men with beards have talked of the affairs of their lives.
Velvet garments sombre but rich, stiffly plaited ruffs and bands, embroidered gloves, venerable beards, the mien and countenance of authority, made it easy to distinguish the gentleman of worship, at that period, from the tradesman, with his plodding air, or the laborer, in his leathern jerkin, stealing awe-stricken into the house which he had perhaps helped to build.
They looked neither older nor younger now; the beards of the aged were no whiter, nor could the creeping babe of yesterday walk on his feet to-day; it was impossible to describe in what respect they differed from the individuals on whom he had so recently bestowed a parting glance; and yet the minister's deepest sense seemed to inform him of their mutability.
Enveloped in their shaggy watch coats, and with their heads muffled in woollen comforters, all bedarned and ragged, and their beards stiff with icicles, they seemed an eruption of bears from Labrador.
Their tawny features, now all begrimed with smoke and sweat, their matted beards, and the contrasting barbaric brilliancy of their teeth, all these were strangely revealed in the capricious emblazonings of the works.
We begun to come to trees with Spanish moss on them, hanging down from the limbs like long, gray beards.
But, instead of receiving their salutations with courtesy, John and his petulant attendants could not resist the temptation of pulling the long beards of the Irish chieftains; a conduct which, as might have been expected, was highly resented by these insulted dignitaries, and produced fatal consequences to the English domination in Ireland.
Here it was impossible for me to advance a step; for the stalks were so interwoven, that I could not creep through, and the beards of the fallen ears so strong and pointed, that they pierced through my clothes into my flesh.
Oh, niece of mine," replied Don Quixote, "how much astray art thou in thy reckoning: ere they shear me I shall have plucked away and stripped off the beards of all who dare to touch only the tip of a hair of mine.
The filth of their long beards made these men still more repulsive.
Then cold The shades of night o'erwhelm them; to the knee In snow, beards stiff with ice.
And I believe there have been plenty of young heroes, of middle stature and feeble beards, who have felt quite sure they could never love anything more insignificant than a Diana, and yet have found themselves in middle life happily settled with a wife who waddles.