Main definitions of beck in English

: beck1beck2

beck1

noun

Northern English
  • A stream.

    • ‘The jury were shown a single-barrelled and a double-barrelled shotgun that police found under a bridge over the Tang Hall beck at the entrance to the site on May 10 with a spent cartridge.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But £160,000 is needed for the final phase, a pumping station to discharge water from the beck into the River Derwent.’
    • ‘We are nowhere near the river, let alone becks, and are very high up compared to the village which is flooded at present.’
    • ‘Walking along the edge of Thirlmere, it's hard to imagine this vast expanse of water was once two small shallow lakes, a bridge, open fields and a meandering Lakeland beck.’
    • ‘The only significant natural damaging action, in the current climate, is erosion by topographically canalised rain water, mostly confined to becks and burns.’
    • ‘She is still clearing up her house, an astonishing 571 days after it was inundated when the nearby town beck burst its banks last March.’
    • ‘To put that in context, the pollution of Osbaldwick beck by a timber treatment company, fought off by local opposition, could well have gone ahead with the public reservations disallowed.’
    • ‘It said that the conditions in Stirton beck were not bad enough to justify the £700,000 needed to install a public sewer.’
    • ‘Streams and becks were strewn with tree trunks, branches and litter which would all block the watercourses during heavy rain.’
    • ‘Public right of way across field was not reinstated, so straight across, right at hedge/beck - used a path some of way to left of beck through trees.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Left to road, bridge over beck, gap in hedge and across field for 100 yards then uphill with fence to right (signed by road).’
    • ‘Residents in Hovingham have dug a massive trench which they hope will divert flood waters safely away from their homes from one beck to another nearby.’
    • ‘Footbridge over beck, stile, uphill to gate, 11 o'clock for 100 yards to stile on left by old shed (waymark).’
    • ‘There are only about ten houses affected by this beck and it just seems like we are too small to count.’
    • ‘The first two miles are on public rights of way, down a lovely valley with a pretty blossomed beck that cascades through rocks plastered with liverworts.’
    • ‘The villagers are trying to fund the installation of a pumping station to pump water from the beck into the river.’
    • ‘And many villagers volunteered to help dig a ditch that will divert floodwaters from one beck to another.’
    • ‘If becks and streams are blocked and exacerbating the flooding issue, then it will need to do a similar exercise on them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A fuel leak which damaged a South Lakeland beck and endangered water supplies to 250,000 homes in Greater Manchester has cost a plant hire company almost 9,000.’
    • ‘‘It would be excellent if we could find more money to clean this beck,’ he said.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, a Humberside Fire spokesperson said about 30 properties in and around Pocklington had been affected after the town's beck had burst its banks.’
    • ‘The size of St Nicks is increased by taking over the land alongside Osbaldwick beck and Bull Lane.’
    • ‘After a further length of idyllic beck and dappled sunlight we cut back through a pretty farm and found a place to sit and enjoy the view and watch a farmer repair a drystone wall.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A new stream will be created linked to Black Dyke beck while shallow pools and hollows will be created in preparation for natural flooding next winter.’
    • ‘Sandbags were issued today to property owners in Pickering as rising water levels in the town's beck sparked fears of flooding.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was making his way home to Aspen Lane when it seems he tripped over a low wall on Water Street and fell about five feet into Earby beck.’
    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 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.’
    • ‘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 second, it had always been my assumption that anyone interested in getting involved could do so without the beck of enthusiastic recruiters.’

Phrases

  • at someone's beck and call

    • literary Always having to be ready to obey someone's orders immediately.

      ‘enjoy having servants at your beck and call’
      ‘she was at her mother's beck and call’
      • ‘If you let yourself be controlled by the industry, you'll always be at their beck and call.’
      • ‘Peabee had certainly known life on the penthouse floor: Women always at his beck and call.’
      • ‘After a year of being at George 's beck and call anytime of the day or night, Lucy has had enough and gives two weeks notice’
      • ‘The rooms are spacious, there are chandeliers in the hall, sofa beds for family members and gourmet chefs at your beck and call.’
      • ‘She would never feel at home in a mansion with servants at her beck and call.’
      • ‘But unless the Greens manage a heroic surge, it, too, might have to operate at Winston 's beck and call.’
      • ‘‘You journalists think I am at your beck and call,’ he snaps.’
      • ‘But it looks like he is ready to have the Cabinet at his beck and call.’
      • ‘Whenever he's home, she's always expected to be at his beck and call.’
      • ‘The Council is not at his beck and call and, therefore, not ready to sign on the dotted lines.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

beck

/bɛk/