Beachcomb – Definition & Meaning

Beachcombing is a popular activity that involves walking along the shorelines of beaches in search of interesting objects that have been washed up by the tide. This activity has been around for centuries and has become a popular pastime for people of all ages. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of beachcomb, its origin, and how it is used in different contexts.


Beachcomb is a verb that means to search or comb the beach for interesting objects, such as shells, driftwood, or other debris. It is also used as a noun to describe a person who engages in this activity.


The word beachcomb is derived from the combination of two words: beach and comb. The word beach derives from the Old English word bæce, which means the shore of a body of water. The word comb comes from the Old English word camb, which means a toothed instrument used for grooming hair or wool. The word beachcomb was first used in the 19th century to describe the activity of searching for objects along the shoreline.

Meaning in different dictionaries

In the Oxford English Dictionary, beachcomb is defined as “to search the beach for items of value or interest.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “to search for valuable or interesting items on a beach.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines beachcomb as “to walk along a beach looking for interesting or valuable objects.”


Beachcombing is often associated with relaxation, exploration, and discovery. It is a popular activity for people who enjoy spending time outdoors and exploring new places. It is also associated with environmentalism, as many beachcombers are concerned with the impact of pollution on the ocean and its wildlife.


Some synonyms of beachcomb include beachcombing, shorecombing, seashell hunting, and beachcomber.


There are no direct antonyms of beachcomb, as it is a specific activity. However, antonyms for related terms might include avoiding the beach, ignoring the shoreline, or neglecting the environment.

The same root words

The word beachcomb is derived from the Old English words bæce and camb. Other words that share these roots include beach, comb, and combing.

Example Sentences

  • I love to beachcomb for seashells whenever I visit the coast.
  • The beachcomber spent hours searching for interesting objects along the shoreline.
  • We decided to go beachcombing after the storm to see what the waves had brought in.
  • The beachcomber found a rare seashell that had washed up on the beach.
  • Beachcombing is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the beauty of the ocean.
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