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[suhn-beem] /ˈsʌnˌbim/
a beam or ray of sunlight.
Australian Slang. a dish or utensil that has not been used during a meal and so does not have to be washed.
Origin of sunbeam
before 1000; Middle English sunnebem, Old English sun(ne)bēam. See sun, beam
Related forms
sunbeamed, sunbeamy, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sunbeam
Historical Examples
  • The 'sunbeam' left Macassar on the evening of the 20th of April.

    The Last Voyage Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
  • A sunbeam struck across the carpet and it looked like a bed of flowers.

    The Little Lame Prince Dinah Maria Mulock
  • Still, two persons felt a prejudice for this man which they could not overcome: they were sunbeam and the hunter's mother.

    The Trapper's Daughter Gustave Aimard
  • Let an aperture be made in one of the shutters through which a sunbeam can pass.

  • Here the voice of the tea-kettle died down to a plaintive simmer, simmer, and I heard sunbeam say, "He's asleep."

  • And something like a sunbeam of healing flashed into my heart with the next words.

    Daisy Elizabeth Wetherell
  • Madame Guillois tenderly embraced her son, and threw herself on the bed prepared for her by sunbeam's care.

    The Trapper's Daughter Gustave Aimard
  • Thus like a sunbeam did Jessie brighten the life of her parents and her uncle.

    Jessie Carlton Francis Forrester
  • It was a helmet, flashing under the sunbeam, as it rose and fell to the measured gallop of a horse.

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • It shone so brightly that it might have been mistaken for a sunbeam.

British Dictionary definitions for sunbeam


a beam, ray, or stream of sunlight
(Austral, slang) a piece of crockery or cutlery laid for a meal but remaining unused
Derived Forms
sunbeamed, sunbeamy, adjective
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 sunbeam

Old English, from sun (n.) + beam (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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