sunbeam

sun·beam (sŭn’bēm′)
n. A ray of sunlight.
[Middle English sunnebem, from Old English sunnebēam (translation of Late Latin columna lūcis, pillar of light) : sunne, sun; see SUN(Cf. ↑sun) + bēam, tree, building post; see BEAM(Cf. beam).]
Word History: Though the period of European history from the 5th to the 11th century is often called the Dark Ages, writers and scholars of the time in fact did much to preserve and extend the light of civilization. A minor but felicitous contribution to the English language from this period is the word sunbeam, which is believed to have entered English in the 9th century through the work of Alfred the Great. A scholar as well as a king, Alfred undertook and oversaw the translation of a number of Latin works into the English of his time, now known as Old English. Among these was The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, a work composed by the Venerable Bede. The Latin phrase columna lūcis, which we would today translate as "a column of light," occurs several times in this work. Since the Old English translator did not have the word column in his vocabulary, he used bēam, which meant "a tree" or "a building post made from a tree" (our modern word beam). Columna lūcis thus became sunnebeām, or "sun post," which survives as our sunbeam. Though perhaps less stately than "column of light," sunbeam has brightened our language. From it the word beam alone came to mean "a ray or rays of light"; it subsequently also became a verb meaning "to radiate."

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sunbeam — Logo Einzylinder Motorradmotor der 1950er Jahre …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sunbeam — may refer to:* Sunlight * Crepuscular rays, rays of sunlight that appear to radiate from a single point in the sky (such as a gap in clouds)In business: * Sunbeam Bread, a franchised brand of white bread * Sunbeam Products, an American… …   Wikipedia

  • Sunbeam 90 — Sunbeam Talbot 90 Der Sunbeam Talbot 90 ist eine viertürige Limousine, die die Rootes Group 1948 als Nachfolger des Sunbeam Talbot 2 litre herausbrachte. Das Modell war auch als Cabriolet verfügbar. Der Tourer, beim Vorgängermodell noch… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sunbeam (DJ) — Sunbeam Gründung 1992 Genre Trance Website http://www.sunbeam.de Gründungsmitglieder DJ Michael Gerlach DJ Florian Preis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sunbeam — (Агиос Николаос,Греция) Категория отеля: Адрес: Ethnikis Antistaseos 23, Агиос Николаос, 72100, Греци …   Каталог отелей

  • Sunbeam — Sun beam , n. [AS. sunnebeam.] A beam or ray of the sun. Evening sunbeams. Keble. [1913 Webster] Thither came Uriel, gliding through the even On a sunbeam. Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sunbeam — O.E., from SUN (Cf. sun) + BEAM (Cf. beam) …   Etymology dictionary

  • sunbeam — ► NOUN ▪ a ray of sunlight …   English terms dictionary

  • sunbeam — [sun′bēm΄] n. a ray or beam of sunlight …   English World dictionary

  • Sunbeam — Cet article a pour sujet la marque de voiture Sunbeam. Pour une définition du mot « sunbeam », voir l’article sunbeam du Wiktionnaire. Sunbeam est une marque de voiture anglaise, créée par la John Marston Co. Ltd, de Wolverhampton, en… …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.