Definition of beaker in US English:



  • 1A lipped cylindrical glass container for laboratory use.

    • ‘She remained quiet as she poured the water into the clear 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Faraday pressurized chlorine gas inside a curved glass tube that was submerged at one end in a beaker of crushed ice.’
    • ‘This experiment involved a Bunsen burner, glass beakers, and a chemical, among other things.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The halls of the Science department were decorated with stuffed animals, molecular models, and beakers of chemicals, all behind glass displays.’
    • ‘In the milking process, a snake is prompted to bite through a latex membrane stretched over a glass beaker.’
    • ‘Magnifying glasses, beakers and magnets were the order of the day at the opening of St. Saviour's National School science room.’
    • ‘Root tips were cut, placed in a beaker filled with ice water, and transferred to the laboratory.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Inside the room-sized locker they built a virtual laboratory - complete with beakers, funnels, jars, glass tubes, transfer pumps and vats of chemicals.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She shouted over the explosion of several glass beakers.’
    • ‘Irradiation was carried out under permanent stirring in glass beakers covered with fused silica plates.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘An aliquot of whole blood was taken in a sterilized flat bottom 25 ml glass beaker.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The silanized coverslips were held in a glass beaker covered with aluminum foil for up to 5 days.’
    1. 1.1British A drinking container, typically made of plastic, often with a lid for use by children.
      cup, tumbler, glass, mug, jug, drinking vessel
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2archaic, literary A large drinking container with a wide mouth.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Bristol Corporation gave us blue, gilt-crested beakers and booklets telling how the first Elizabeth had visited the city in 1574.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The imitations imply knowledge of imported origins and, in fact, the Divari tombs did contain Augustan-period beakers of Italian thin-walled ware.’
      • ‘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.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Exhibits include beautiful Anglo Saxon jewellery, beakers made by the Bronze Age ‘Beaker People’, flints and pottery.’
      • ‘In the Bronze Age remains were interred with food vessels or beakers, hence the term ‘Beaker Folk’.’
      • ‘One memorable object was a fine rusticated 2nd century beaker wrapped in a 1927 newspaper.’
      • ‘Beautiful Anglo-Saxon jewellery, beakers made by the Bronze Age people, flints and pottery will all be part of the exhibition.’
      • ‘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.’


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