Beard, the hair growing on the chin and adjacent parts of the face of male adults. The customs of most nations, respecting the beard, have been various. Ancient writers have spoken honourably of the fine beards of antiquity. Homer praises the white beard of Nestor, and of King Priam.— Strabo relates, that the Indian philosophers, the Gymnosophists, were particularly solicitous to make the length of their beards the object of popular veneration.
It would be tedious and uninteresting, to detail the historical accounts respecting the beard. The Chinese consider a long beard as inestimable 5 and among the Turks it is more infamous for a man to have his beard cut off, than in other countries to be publicly whipt, or exposed in the pillory.—Nature has granted this ornament exclu-sively to the male sex, with a very few exceptions 5 hence there ap-pears to be no other justifiable reason for shaving it, than that such custom certainly contributes to cleanliness.—See Shaving.