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hair on the lower portion of the face. The term mustache refers to hair worn above the upper lip. Attitudes toward facial hair have varied in different cultures. In ancient Egypt, as well as Turkey and India, the beard was regarded as a sign of dignity and wisdom. Beards continued into the Greek civilization until the 4th cent. B.C., when Alexander the Great ordered his soldiers shaved. The Romans, however, actually introduced the practice of regular shaving. The belief that the beard denotes wisdom was widespread in ancient China, and the cult of the beard has been dominant in Middle Eastern cultures from ancient times to the recent past. As a symbol of virility and status, the beard has often acquired religious significance. Muhammad enjoined his followers to grow beards; the Sikhs of India are not permitted to remove a single hair from their bodies; and the patriarchs of the tribes of Israel were bearded. Hindus, on the other hand, have traditionally been clean-shaven. Prior to the 7th cent., most Anglo-Saxons wore beards, but with the spread of Christianity, beards were discouraged. However, since that time beards of all sizes and shapes have appeared and disappeared with the cycles of fashion. The guardsman's mustache of the 18th and early 19th cent. was the sign of an army man, and after 1830 the beard became the emblem of the French radicals. In the 20th cent. beards and mustaches were generally out of fashion until the 1960s when, together with long hair, they became popular with young people.


See R. Reynolds, Beards (1950).

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McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. the hair growing on the lower parts of a man's face
2. any similar growth in animals
3. a tuft of long hairs in plants such as barley and wheat; awn
4. the gills of an oyster
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


Beards are usually associated with masculinity, wisdom, strength; and the men who have them typically command respect. Moses, Jesus, Charles Darwin, and Abraham Lincoln all had beards. Old dream interpretation books say that dreaming of bearded men is a good omen, and good luck will follow. On the other hand, dreaming about women with beards is said to be bad luck. It’s no wonder that traditionally a woman who is strong, wise, and who commands respect was considered threatening. If you are a woman dreaming that you have a beard, you may be dealing with your own issues of power. You may be using more masculine energy than you would like to or than is necessary. Also, since beards conceal the faces of those who have them, they may symbolize negative characteristics, such as deception, extreme guardedness, or of the shadow (Bluebeard, a folktale by Charles Perrault).
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
In line with this exciting new product release, Real Bearded Men is offering a special discount for one week only.
Bearded tits spend their lives in reedbeds and therefore are very difficult to find, though they usually give their presence away with their familiar "ping" calls.
This is the second time that the Administrative Court has ruled that bearded police officers could return to their posts, rejecting the appeal by the Interior Ministry.
The bearded dragon is currently being closely monitored.
In the spring it may be difficult to tell a bearded hen apart from a male.
The BT employee has been working alongside a barber in Jesmond to perfect the shape of his beard which is to be entered into the "Verdi" category - named after bearded composer Giuseppe Verdi.
The high court ruled in favor of a bearded Shigemitsu Bando in the suit filed by Naofumi Akeno, who collected 853 votes in the Naruto city assembly election last December, one vote shy of Bando's 854.
Montaigne carefully notes that even before her metamorphosis, Marie was "remarkable for having a little more hair about her chin than the other girls; they called her bearded Marie" (6).
Supermarket chiefs told John that beards were not only unhygienic but put off shoppers and, amazingly, when John took the store to an employment tribunal the court upheld the shop's narrow-minded right not to employ bearded men.
Those who chickened out due to various pressures and shaved off a longtime beard tell us they feel naked, so accustomed were they to the bearded look.