Definition of beaker in English:



  • 1A drinking container, typically made of plastic, often with a lid for use by children.

    • ‘The stranger knocked back half the beaker, wiped his mouth on his sleeve, and coughed heavily for long enough that the barman flicked him a worried glance.’
    • ‘Shapes and patterns - use upturned plastic beakers, egg cups or food storage boxes to press out shapes from a piece of rolled-out dough.’
    • ‘A clock ticked, the undrinkable coffee went cold in the plastic beaker.’
    • ‘Pilate splashed some wine into a big beaker and brought the vessel up to Ivan's lips.’
    • ‘We haven't felt this flustered since our last hot bath and a large beaker of glowing Absinthe.’
    • ‘Bath toys - a few cups or beakers for demonstrating how to pour will liven up bathtime.’
    • ‘After that I drove home for a little doze and then enjoyed a couple of beakers at the Royal.’
    • ‘When they heard that he worked on a trawler they opened the bottle and poured a teaspoonful into a beaker adding hot water.’
    • ‘I carefully lifted the tiny beaker to Ash's mouth and poured it in, then covering his mouth and nose, forcing him to halfheartedly swallow it.’
    • ‘Spend all day in bed tomorrow, in the dark, with the windows shut and only a plastic beaker of water for nourishment, and you'll be fine.’
    • ‘Those revellers who'd brought their own champagne stood around and toasted 2004 in plastic beakers.’
    • ‘We had been pre-warned that there wasn't an interval in the show so we'd have to take our pre-show drinks in plastic beakers.’
    • ‘When it was their turn to be served, the pharmacist gave them each a plastic beaker filled with liquid, which they greedily consumed.’
    • ‘She lifted her plastic beaker to me ‘I guess this is the last time then.’’
    • ‘Dental health experts are urging parents to switch from a bottle to beakers as soon as their babies have teeth.’
    • ‘And because there's also a ban on juice cartons and glass bottles, children bring drinks to school in reusable beakers ever day.’
    • ‘What's more, it's fantastic late at night when you're with other Stones fans and you've had a few cleansing beakers.’
    • ‘Basically, this consists of a large metal beaker and matching glass, the two of which can be jammed together when you come to whoosh up your ingredients.’
    • ‘Linking our fingers, we brought our mugs against theirs with such force that their beakers shattered.’
    • ‘I sat, and as my eyes grew strong again, she glided from shelf to chest, and came back with a pottery pitcher and two tiny silver beakers.’
    cup, tumbler, glass, mug, jug, drinking vessel
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A lipped cylindrical glass container for laboratory use.
      • ‘At the first leaf stage they were removed from the dishes and carefully threaded through thin glass tubes suspended from the lids of 600 ml beakers containing culture solution at pH 5.6.’
      • ‘Irradiation was carried out under permanent stirring in glass beakers covered with fused silica plates.’
      • ‘One demonstration included three beakers, each containing the contents of a red, green or blue glow stick, and each luminescing one of those three colors of light.’
      • ‘He pulled down a clear bottle filled with a crystal clear liquid and poured it into a glass beaker while, at the same time, he poured a light blue bottle into the same jar.’
      • ‘Root tips were cut, placed in a beaker filled with ice water, and transferred to the laboratory.’
      • ‘Inside the room-sized locker they built a virtual laboratory - complete with beakers, funnels, jars, glass tubes, transfer pumps and vats of chemicals.’
      • ‘I'd anticipated him working inside a Back-To-The-Future kind of laboratory with bubbling beakers, coiled yellow electrical wire, and a suffocating sense of disarray.’
      • ‘On the north side of the room was Dipper's Magic shop, which was rather humble, comprising only a few shelves behind a counter upon which rested beakers and glass containers of what Doremi recognized were common spell components.’
      • ‘She shouted over the explosion of several glass beakers.’
      • ‘She remained quiet as she poured the water into the clear glass beaker.’
      • ‘An aliquot of whole blood was taken in a sterilized flat bottom 25 ml glass beaker.’
      • ‘The Australian pair, with established reputations as musicians and composers, use a chemistry set of test tubes, Bunsen burner, pipettes, beakers and bowls rather than an orchestra for their musical performance.’
      • ‘The silanized coverslips were held in a glass beaker covered with aluminum foil for up to 5 days.’
      • ‘I put my books on my lab table in chemistry, being careful not to knock over any of the glass beakers that were sitting out.’
      • ‘By turning the screw he could bring the level of mercury inside the glass beaker up just high enough to touch the point of an ivory pin set there to mark zero on the scale, allowing, each time, an accurate reading at the top.’
      • ‘Magnifying glasses, beakers and magnets were the order of the day at the opening of St. Saviour's National School science room.’
      • ‘The halls of the Science department were decorated with stuffed animals, molecular models, and beakers of chemicals, all behind glass displays.’
      • ‘This experiment involved a Bunsen burner, glass beakers, and a chemical, among other things.’
      • ‘In the milking process, a snake is prompted to bite through a latex membrane stretched over a glass beaker.’
      • ‘Faraday pressurized chlorine gas inside a curved glass tube that was submerged at one end in a beaker of crushed ice.’
    2. 1.2literary, archaic A large drinking container with a wide mouth.
      • ‘The imitations imply knowledge of imported origins and, in fact, the Divari tombs did contain Augustan-period beakers of Italian thin-walled ware.’
      • ‘In the earliest phase, for example, colour-coated beakers are seen as uniquely appropriate for young people, both as urns and accessory vessels; and at all times small Samian cups were only ever found with children younger than eight.’
      • ‘Other discoveries include a wooden beaker, barbed arrowheads and armour.’
      • ‘The beaker in front of the first pitcher is a prize example of Anthony Rasch's New Orleans work, about 1825 to 1835.’
      • ‘In the traditional chrono-topological sequence, short-necked forms follow the bell beakers, with the long-necked forms following still later.’
      • ‘Bristol Corporation gave us blue, gilt-crested beakers and booklets telling how the first Elizabeth had visited the city in 1574.’
      • ‘Whether or not these beakers were used for wine is doubtful but 18th century French beakers with their characteristic plinth feet may well have been.’
    3. 1.3Archaeology A waisted pot characteristic of graves of the Beaker folk.
      • ‘In the Bronze Age remains were interred with food vessels or beakers, hence the term ‘Beaker Folk’.’
      • ‘From the near vicinity, there is a small beaker in Romano-British style from a grave at Little Wittenham, embellished with scenes depicting episodes in the life of Christ.’
      • ‘They included a pair of gold earrings, three copper knives, five beakers, two sets of flint tools, two stone archer's wristguards and a number of arrowheads.’
      • ‘Beautiful Anglo-Saxon jewellery, beakers made by the Bronze Age people, flints and pottery will all be part of the exhibition.’
      • ‘One memorable object was a fine rusticated 2nd century beaker wrapped in a 1927 newspaper.’
      • ‘Excavated in 1911, the primary burial dates to about 2500 BC and comprised a crouched inhumation in a cist accompanied by a beaker, bone pin, and flint tools.’
      • ‘There were many more items - including beakers, boars' tusks, an antler spatula for working flints, another copper knife and more flints - these would have been tools, some in mint condition.’
      • ‘Exhibits include beautiful Anglo Saxon jewellery, beakers made by the Bronze Age ‘Beaker People’, flints and pottery.’


Middle English (in the sense ‘large drinking container’): from Old Norse bikarr, perhaps based on Greek bikos ‘drinking bowl’.