A bead is a small bauble or jewel with a hole through its middle for stringing on a necklace or bracelet. You can make your own jewelry by stringing colorful beads on a long cord.
Beads are decorative balls made from stone, glass, or plastic. Rosary beads — or other prayer beads — are used for praying or meditating, and in some societies beads are the equivalent of money, used as currency to buy things. You can also describe a round drop of liquid as a bead, like a bead of sweat on your forehead. The earliest meaning of bead is "prayer bead," from the Old English gebed, "prayer."