Definition of beachcomber in English:



  • 1A vagrant who makes a living by searching beaches for articles of value and selling them.

    • ‘The beachcombers were able to gather and hide a rich harvest before the local magistrate learned of the Spanish wrecks and claimed the treasure in the Queen's name.’
    • ‘No vehicles on beaches means the area is protected from fishermen, beachcombers and hunter/gatherers alike.’
    • ‘During the nineteenth century there was an influx of European beachcombers, traders, planters, and missionaries.’
    • ‘As my week dragged on the end slowly floated into sight, like a passing ocean liner appearing to a shipwrecked beachcomber.’
    • ‘A free-spirited beachcomber living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ringo White scours the shores of Lake Michigan for the materials needed to construct his sprawling, mixed-media installation.’
    • ‘‘Silver,’ he repeated, ‘Silver which you and your band of beachcombers are going to steal.’’
    • ‘There was a blacksmith from New England, a former postmaster of Pago Pago who had been a veteran of the American Civil War, a murdered merchant marine, a woman who died en route to San Francisco, and various beachcombers and adventurers.’
    • ‘The only people you see are beachcombers and dog-walkers in their flapping macs’
    • ‘The sun is a bright Caribbean yellow, made even richer by the tropical blue sky, and even though it's only mid-morning, barefooted beachcombers weave along the water's edge to keep the soles of their feet cool.’
    • ‘Divers or beachcombers have until April 24 to hand in objects recovered from wrecks to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency without fear of prosecution.’
    • ‘Could you be footing the bill for all those beachcombers?’
    • ‘But there are no sharks today, only bewildered beachcombers, who start to scatter as we approach our beach landing strip.’
    • ‘Maury's older brother, John, as it happened, had lived for almost two years as a beachcomber on Nukuhiva all the way back in 1812.’
    • ‘That tends to dry out in the sun and sand, much like a beachcomber's skin.’
    • ‘The final part of the book concludes with life on shore, the coastguards, shipwrecks, beachcombers and history of the Ballinskelligs Cable Station.’
    • ‘We climbed down on to the sand and strolled along the ivory shore; fellow beachcombers nodded to us as if we were all part of some clandestine club.’
    • ‘At windswept Banshee Bay, our campsite beneath the casuarina trees was made comfortable by some beachcomber's driftwood furniture.’
    • ‘The cramped units with rollout beds and sleep-in porches had served as crash pads for generations of beachcombers and laborers looking for a cheap place to lay their heads.’
    • ‘Lee Weinstein, a spokesman for Beaverton, Ore.- based Nike, said beachcombers who find shoes can mail them to Nike for recycling.’
    • ‘There are no painted signs to repel native beachcombers and yet it seems the indigenous people know instinctively where to tread, where not to go.’
    scavenger, scrounger, forager, gatherer, collector, accumulator
    tramp, vagrant, wanderer, itinerant, nomad, drifter, transient, homeless person
    View synonyms
  • 2A person who searches beaches for useful or interesting items.

    • ‘On another note, West Coast boaters and beachcombers alike are encouraged to pick up any Nike running shoes they might encounter along the shore.’
    • ‘Progress is seen in the water - usually by nameless surfers, sometimes by buddies, perhaps by a passing seal or beachcomber.’
    • ‘On the Parrsboro shore, the site of the biggest fossil find in North America, beachcombers gather semi-precious agates and sparkling amethysts at low tide.’
    • ‘Down on the sand, beachcombers pick their way through the crowds, doing an odd, side-to-side dance with metal detectors.’
    • ‘The weather was still too cool for many beachcombers yet warm enough for me to enjoy a walk along the rocky beach in deep meditation.’
    • ‘The true limpets are a familiar site to beachcombers and visitors to the seashore, clinging tenaciously to rocks in the intertidal zone in countless numbers, or in shallow rock pools.’
    • ‘Pacific sands, 90 minutes to the west, draw beachcombers and whale watchers; Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge, just an hour to the east, lure anyone who hikes, bikes, paddles, windsurfs, or skis.’
    • ‘Catsharks begin life inside spindle-shaped egg cases known to beachcombers as ‘mermaids' purses.’’
    • ‘A Winner by the Sea: on the Southern California coast, Del Mar is a haven for beachcombers, gardeners - and fans of fast, fast horses’
    • ‘Bears eat family pets in their own yards, and the quicksand mud flats on Anchorage's outskirts have claimed more than one beachcomber.’
    • ‘The combination of unspoiled beaches, crashing waves and drift logs makes this dramatic coastline a beachcomber's paradise.’
    • ‘Most importantly, its ultra-cool look will attract the attention of fellow beachcombers.’
    • ‘Here are some of the lovely sea-side Helensburgh finds that were gently but quickly removed from the chubby hands of a two-year-old beachcomber before he and his siblings were hurriedly returned to Glasgow.’
    • ‘Mrs. Wilhelm, an avid horsewoman and beachcomber, had the foyer decorated with an elaborate trompe l' oeil of the beach.’
    • ‘Wandering across these wide, endless stretches of sand, a beachcomber will find hundreds of logs, scoured by the waves, stacked and bleached by the sun.’
    • ‘So besides sating the curiosity of ardent beachcombers, books such as Coan's provide a comprehensive review that scientists can use to study environmental change over time.’
    • ‘The casual beachcomber who happened to amble by as I was tying knots would have no doubt observed the similarity between my dexterity and that of a grizzly bear harvesting salmon out of an Alaskan river.’
    • ‘The more intrepid beachcomber may find brittle stars, sea cucumbers, or sea urchins.’
    • ‘A beachcomber in the middle of the metropolis, Hebden is always on the hunt for new and interesting sounds.’
    • ‘Indeed, the back cover of the pocket-sized book has already found a place on the wall of this longtime beachcomber's office.’
    • ‘He is also the man Puget Sound beachcombers call when they want to identify something bizarre they've spotted on the beach.’
  • 3A long wave rolling in from the sea; a comber.