Main definitions of beck in English

: beck1beck2

beck1

noun

Northern English
  • A stream.

    • ‘Streams and becks were strewn with tree trunks, branches and litter which would all block the watercourses during heavy rain.’
    • ‘The theme being fine farms and fine houses, springs, becks, notable ponds and, best of all, a super winter mix of miles of clean tracks and even more miles over splendid sheep pasture.’
    • ‘The trench, which has been dug on land at nearby Hovingham farm, will hopefully divert water from the beck running through the centre of Hovingham to nearby Marrs Beck, where there are no houses.’
    • ‘Neighbouring gardens were also affected and in a desperate bid to keep the flowing water away from the house, the Fleshers dug a trench diverting the stream into a nearby beck.’
    • ‘If becks and streams are blocked and exacerbating the flooding issue, then it will need to do a similar exercise on them.’
    • ‘This meant that farmers as well as water companies would need to take action - because of the problems associated with water running off fields into streams and becks and ending up in the sea.’
    • ‘They are, in short, major predators of young trout and the fly fishing season is just getting underway on the River Beggar and the becks that feed it.’
    • ‘We are nowhere near the river, let alone becks, and are very high up compared to the village which is flooded at present.’
    • ‘Six watercourses in Bradford are the first of three batches of becks and streams in Yorkshire to come under the control of the Environment Agency.’
    • ‘But if the owners cut pipe costs by operating combined drains, the whole lot goes into the treatment plant, and when that is overwhelmed, the surplus mixture goes into becks or rivers.’
    • ‘The villagers are trying to fund the installation of a pumping station to pump water from the beck into the river.’
    • ‘Jane Morgan, prosecuting on behalf of the Environment Agency, said the beck was a tributary of the River Wenning and an important watercourse for the local fish population.’
    • ‘Water from a beck which feeds into the River Wharfe at Ryther, near Tadcaster, backed up and blocked the main road through the village.’
    • ‘The landscape has a spring, a waterfall filling the beck and a Dales cottage sitting just above.’
    • ‘Located on a low hill above the confluence of the Naddle beck and the river Greta surrounded by high mountains.’
    • ‘Because there were still plenty of crayfish in the becks and streams, and they are the first to go if there is pollution.’
    • ‘This would be used to pump water from the beck into the river when the sluice was closed, so that beckwater did not itself back up and flood the roads.’
    • ‘The only significant natural damaging action, in the current climate, is erosion by topographically canalised rain water, mostly confined to becks and burns.’
    • ‘But £160,000 is needed for the final phase, a pumping station to discharge water from the beck into the River Derwent.’
    • ‘The floods came quickly, paddy fields filled up and overflowed as their trickling water channels became frothing torrents, the little streams and becks that characterised Kendip transformed into surging mud flows.’
    brook, rivulet, rill, runnel, streamlet, freshet
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old Norse bekkr, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch beek and German Bach. Used as the common term for a brook in northern areas, beck often refers, in literature, to a brook with a stony bed or following a rugged course, typical of such areas.

Pronunciation

beck

/bɛk/

Main definitions of beck in English

: beck1beck2

beck2

noun

literary
  • A gesture requesting attention, such as a nod or wave.

    • ‘And second, it had always been my assumption that anyone interested in getting involved could do so without the beck of enthusiastic recruiters.’
    • ‘Come to think of it, I have the Antidote to Rage lying in my DVD player awaiting for the beck of a remote control.’
    • ‘And when Niall, who stood on the sideline for 40 minutes, finally got the beck, he didn't disappoint, scoring his first point in 20 years.’

Origin

Middle English: from archaic beck, abbreviated form of beckon.

Pronunciation

beck

/bɛk/