What do a.m. and p.m. stand for?


[uh-beem] /əˈbim/
Nautical, Aeronautics. at right angles to the fore-and-aft line:
The vessel was sailing with the wind directly abeam.
directly abreast the middle of a ship's side.
Origin of abeam
1830-40; a-1 + beam Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for abeam
  • abeam indicates a general position rather than a precise point.
  • On this machine, a resonance is set up in abeam by a rotating eccentric weight.
  • For paved road samples, the broom-swept particles and the vacuum-swept dust are individually weighed on abeam balance.
  • Power was reduced abeam midfield on downwind, the landing gear was lowered, and the approach flaps were extended.
British Dictionary definitions for abeam


adverb, adjective
(postpositive) at right angles to the length and directly opposite the centre of a vessel or aircraft
Word Origin
C19: a-² + beam
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abeam

"at right angles to the keel," c.1836, nautical, literally "on beam;" see a- (1) + beam (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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