One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1On a line at right angles to a ship's or an aircraft's length.
in a row, side by side, alongside, level, abeam, on a level, beside each other, shoulder to shoulder, cheek by jowlView synonyms
- ‘Because the ram was the only ship-smashing weapon available, fleets fought in line abeam so as to present as many rams to the enemy as possible.’
- ‘The ship won't point into the wind, you have to have the wind astern or at least abeam.’
- ‘I heard him tell tower we were abeam and landing.’
- ‘After burning down fuel, we flew by the ship, close abeam.’
- ‘He reported abeam, and tower cleared him to land on runway 24 left.’
- ‘Fags were most easily located when the search heading was abeam to the wind direction, so that the pennant presented the greatest visible surface area.’
- ‘It's when the breeze comes from the side, and slightly abaft of abeam, that a vessel can achieve its fastest point of sail.’
- ‘Be consistent - drop notches of flaps in the same place on every landing, e.g., first notch when you're downwind abeam, second on base, last notch on final.’
- ‘That student flew wide abeam and long in the groove.’
- 1.1abeam of Opposite the middle of (a ship or aircraft)‘she was lying almost abeam of us’as preposition ‘before I knew it, I was abeam the ship’
- ‘To prepare for our return, the DDG was to remain 150 miles abeam of West Palm Beach to fuel us.’
- ‘For unknown reasons, as it crossed the bar, the vessel turned northwest bringing it abeam of the breaking waves.’
- ‘He instructed an exhausted, unqualified third mate to turn the ship when it came abeam of Busby Island.’
- ‘The airplane impacted a swampy area inverted, abeam of the departure end of Runway 20 and about 120 south of the runway.’
- ‘Most angles were measured when animals were passing abeam of the plane.’
Mid 19th century: from a- (expressing general direction) + beam.
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