Etymology
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beam (n.)

Old English beam originally "living tree," but by late 10c. also "rafter, post, ship's timber," from Proto-Germanic *baumaz "tree" (source also of Old Frisian bam "tree, gallows, beam," Middle Dutch boom, Old High German boum, German Baum "tree," and perhaps also (with unexplained sound changes) Old Norse baðmr, Gothic bagms), which is of uncertain etymology (according to Boutkan probably a substrate word). The shift from *-au- to -ea- is regular in Old English.

Meaning "ray of light" developed in Old English, probably because beam was used by Bede to render Latin columna (lucis), the Biblical "pillar of fire." Meaning "directed flow of radiation" is from 1906. To be on the beam "going in the right direction" (1941) originally was an aviator's term for "to follow the course indicated by a radio beam." Nautical sense of "one of the horizontal transverse timbers holding a ship together" is from early 13c., hence "greatest breadth of a ship," and slang broad in the beam, by 1894 of ships, of persons, "wide-hipped," by 1938.

beam (v.)

"emit rays of light," c. 1400, from beam (n.) in the "ray of light" sense. Sense of "shine radiantly" is from 1630s; that of "smile radiantly" is from 1804; that of "to direct radio transmissions" is from 1927. Related: Beamed; beaming.

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Definitions of beam
1
beam (n.)
a signal transmitted along a narrow path; guides airplane pilots in darkness or bad weather;
Synonyms: radio beam
beam (n.)
long thick piece of wood or metal or concrete, etc., used in construction;
beam (n.)
a group of nearly parallel lines of electromagnetic radiation;
Synonyms: ray / electron beam
beam (n.)
a column of light (as from a beacon);
Synonyms: beam of light / light beam / ray / ray of light / shaft / shaft of light / irradiation
beam (n.)
(nautical) breadth amidships;
beam (n.)
the broad side of a ship;
they sighted land on the port beam
beam (n.)
a gymnastic apparatus used by women gymnasts;
Synonyms: balance beam
2
beam (v.)
smile radiantly; express joy through one's facial expression;
beam (v.)
emit light; be bright, as of the sun or a light;
The fire beamed on their faces
Synonyms: shine
beam (v.)
express with a beaming face or smile;
he beamed his approval
beam (v.)
broadcast over the airwaves, as in radio or television;
Synonyms: air / send / broadcast / transmit
beam (v.)
have a complexion with a strong bright color, such as red or pink;
Synonyms: glow / radiate / shine
beam (v.)
experience a feeling of well-being or happiness, as from good health or an intense emotion;
She was beaming with joy
Synonyms: glow / radiate / shine
From wordnet.princeton.edu