noun, plural beads·men. Archaic.

  1. a person who prays for another as a duty, especially when paid.
  2. an inmate of a poorhouse; almsman.

noun plural -men

  1. a person who prays for another’s soul, esp one paid or fed for doing so
  2. a person kept in an almshouse

“one who prays for another’s benefit,” early 13c.; see bead (n.) + man (n.).

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