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1530s, "loose, water-worn pebbles of the seashore," probably from Old English bæce, bece "stream," from Proto-Germanic *bakiz. Extended to loose, pebbly shores (1590s), and in dialect around Sussex and Kent beach still has the meaning "pebbles worn by the waves." French grève shows the same evolution. Beach ball first recorded 1940; beach bum first recorded 1950.
"to haul or run up on a beach," 1840, from beach (n.). Related: Beached; beaching.
The area of accumulated sand, stone, or gravel deposited along a shore by the action of waves and tides. Beaches usually slope gently toward the body of water they border and have a concave shape. They extend landward from the low water line to the point where there is a distinct change in material (as in a line of vegetation) or in land features (as in a cliff).