Beam reach

See under reach (def 27).
to get to or get as far as in moving, going, traveling, etc.:
The boat reached the shore.
to come to or arrive at in some course of progress, action, etc.:
Your letter never reached me.
to succeed in touching or seizing with an outstretched hand, a pole, etc.:
to reach a book on a high shelf.
to stretch or hold out; extend:
reaching out a hand in greeting.
to stretch or extend so as to touch or meet:
The bookcase reaches the ceiling.
to establish communication with:
I called but couldn’t reach you.
to amount to, as in the sum or total:
The cost will reach millions.
to penetrate to:
distant stars the eye cannot reach.
to succeed in striking or hitting, as with a weapon or missile:
The artillery fire reached the shore.
to succeed in making contact with, influencing, impressing, interesting, convincing, etc.:
a program that reached a large teenage audience.
to make a stretch, as with the hand or arm.
to become outstretched, as the hand or arm.
to make a movement or effort as if to touch or seize something:
to reach for a weapon.
to extend in operation or effect:
power that reaches throughout the land.
to stretch in space; extend in direction, length, distance, etc.:
a coat reaching to the knee; a tower reaching to the skies.
to extend or continue in time.
to get or come to a specified place, person, condition, etc. (often followed by to).
to amount (often followed by to):
sums reaching to a considerable total.
to penetrate:
Fields of flowers extended as far as the eye could reach.
to assert or agree without certainty or sufficient evidence; infer hastily:
I’d be reaching if I said I had the answer to your question.

to sail on a reach.
to sail with the wind forward of the beam but so as not to require sailing close-hauled.

an act or instance of reaching:
to make a reach for a gun.
the extent or distance of reaching:
within reach of his voice.
range of effective action, power, or capacity.
a continuous stretch or extent of something:
a reach of woodland.
Also called pound. a level portion of a canal, between locks.
Nautical. a point of sailing in which the wind is within a few points of the beam, either forward of the beam (close reach) directly abeam (beam reach) or abaft the beam (broad reach)
the pole connecting the rear axle of a wagon to the transverse bar or bolster over the front axle supporting the wagon bed.
a straight portion of a river between two bends.
(transitive) to arrive at or get to (a place, person, etc) in the course of movement or action: to reach the office
to extend as far as (a point or place): to reach the ceiling, can you reach?
(transitive) to come to (a certain condition, stage, or situation): to reach the point of starvation
(intransitive) to extend in influence or operation: the Roman conquest reached throughout England
(transitive) (informal) to pass or give (something to a person) with the outstretched hand: to reach someone a book
(intransitive; foll by out, for, or after) to make a movement (towards), as if to grasp or touch: to reach for something on a shelf
(intransitive; foll by for or after) to strive or yearn: to reach for the impossible
(transitive) to make contact or communication with (someone): we tried to reach him all day
(transitive) to strike, esp in fencing or boxing
(transitive) to amount to (a certain sum): to reach the five million mark
(intransitive) (nautical) to sail on a tack with the wind on or near abeam
the act of reaching
the extent or distance of reaching: within reach of safety, beyond her reach
the range of influence, power, jurisdiction, etc
an open stretch of water, esp on a river
(nautical) the direction or distance sailed by a vessel on one tack
a bar on the rear axle of a vehicle connecting it with some part at the front end
(television, radio) the percentage of the population selecting a broadcast programme or channel for more than a specified time during a day or week
(marketing) the proportion of a market that an advertiser hopes to reach at least once in a campaign

Old English ræcan, reccan “reach out, stretch out, extend, hold forth,” also “succeed in touching, succeed in striking; address, speak to,” also “offer, present, give, grant,” from West Germanic *raikjan “stretch out the hand” (cf. Old Frisian reka, Middle Dutch reiken, Dutch reiken, Old High German and German reichen), from Proto-Germanic *raikijanau, perhaps from PIE root *reig- “to stretch out” (cf. Sanskrit rjyati “he stretches himself,” riag “torture” (by racking); Greek oregein “to reach, extend;” Lithuanian raižius “to stretch oneself;” Old Irish rigim “I stretch”).

Shakespeare uses the now-obsolete past tense form raught (Old English ræhte). Meaning “arrive at” is early 14c.; that of “succeed in influencing” is from 1660s. Related: Reached; reaching. Reach-me-down “ready-made” (of clothes) is recorded from 1862, from notion of being on the rack in a finished state.

1520s, from reach (v.); earliest use is of stretches of water. Meaning “extent of reaching” is from 1540s; that of “act of reaching” is from 1560s.

Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?

[Browning, “Andrea del Sarto”]

In addition to the idiom beginning with

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