be

[ bee; unstressed bee, bi ]
/ bi; unstressed bi, bɪ /

verb (used without object), present singular 1st person am, 2nd are or (Archaic) art, 3rd is, present plural are; past singular 1st person was, 2nd were or (Archaic) wast or wert, 3rd was, past plural were; present subjunctive be; past subjunctive singular 1st person were, 2nd were or (Archaic) wert, 3rd were; past subjunctive plural were; past participle been; present participle be·ing.

auxiliary verb, present singular 1st person am, 2nd are or (Archaic) art, 3rd is, present plural are; past singular 1st person was, 2nd were or (Archaic) wast or wert, 3rd was, past plural were; present subjunctive be; past subjunctive singular 1st person were, 2nd were or (Archaic) wert, 3rd were; past subjunctive plural were; past participle been; present participle be·ing.

Origin of be

before 900; Middle English been, Old English bēon (bēo- (akin to Old Frisian, Old High German bim, German bin, Old Saxon bium, biom (I) am, Old English, Old High German, Old Saxon būan, Old Norse būa reside, Latin fuī (I) have been, Greek phy- grow, become, Old Irish boí (he) was, Sanskrit bhávati (he) becomes, is, Lithuanian búti to be, OCS byti, Persian būd was)) + -n infinitive suffix. See am, is, are1, was, were

Can be confused

be bee

Usage note

See me.

Definition for be (2 of 7)

Be


Symbol, Chemistry.

Definition for be (3 of 7)

B and E

or B&E


noun

Law. the crime of breaking and entering: two of the elements of the crime of burglary.

Origin of B and E

First recorded in 1960–65

Definition for be (4 of 7)

Definition for be (5 of 7)

be-


a native English prefix formerly used in the formation of verbs: become, besiege, bedaub, befriend.

Origin of be-

Middle English, Old English, unstressed form of by1

Definition for be (6 of 7)

B.E.


Bachelor of Education.
Bachelor of Engineering.
Bank of England.
bill of exchange.
Board of Education.

Definition for be (7 of 7)

B/E

or b.e.


bill of exchange.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for be (1 of 7)

be

1
/ (biː, unstressed ) /

verb present singular 1st person am; 2nd person are; 3rd person is; present plural are; past singular 1st person was; 2nd person were; 3rd person was; past plural were; present participle being or past participle been (intr)

Word Origin for be

Old English bēon; related to Old High German bim am, Latin fui I have been, Greek phuein to bring forth, Sanskrit bhavati he is

British Dictionary definitions for be (2 of 7)

be

2

the internet domain name for

Belgium

British Dictionary definitions for be (3 of 7)

Be


the chemical symbol for

beryllium

British Dictionary definitions for be (4 of 7)

BE


abbreviation for

bill of exchange
(in the US) Board of Education
Bachelor of Education
Bachelor of Engineering

British Dictionary definitions for be (5 of 7)


abbreviation for

Baumé

British Dictionary definitions for be (6 of 7)

be-


prefix forming verbs and verbal derivatives

(from nouns) to surround completely; cover on all sidesbefog
(from nouns) to affect completely or excessivelybedazzle
(from nouns) to consider as or cause to bebefool; befriend
(from nouns) to provide or cover withbejewel
(from verbs) at, for, against, on, or overbewail; berate

Word Origin for be-

Old English be-, bi-, unstressed variant of by

British Dictionary definitions for be (7 of 7)

B/E

BE or b.e.


abbreviation for

bill of exchange
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medicine definitions for be

Be


The symbol for the elementberyllium
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for be (1 of 2)

Be


The symbol for beryllium.

Science definitions for be (2 of 2)

beryllium

[ bə-rĭlē-əm ]

Be

A hard, lightweight, steel-gray metallic element of the alkaline-earth group, found in various minerals, especially beryl. It has a high melting point and is corrosion-resistant. Beryllium is used to make sturdy, lightweight alloys and aerospace structural materials. It is also used as a neutron moderator in nuclear reactors. Atomic number 4; atomic weight 9.0122; melting point 1,278°C; boiling point 2,970°C; specific gravity 1.848; valence 2. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with be

be


In addition to the idioms beginning with be

  • be a credit to
  • be along
  • be big on
  • be bound to
  • be busted
  • bed and board
  • bed and breakfast
  • bed of roses
  • be down
  • bee in one's bonnet
  • been around
  • been had
  • been there, done that
  • been to the wars
  • beginning of the end, the
  • begin to see daylight
  • begin to see the light
  • begin with
  • beg off
  • beg the question
  • beg to differ
  • be had
  • be in on
  • be into
  • bell the cat, who will
  • be my guest
  • bend one's elbow
  • bend over backwards
  • bend someone's ear
  • be off
  • be on
  • be oneself
  • be on to
  • beside oneself
  • beside the point
  • be that as it may
  • be the death of
  • be the end of one
  • be the making of

also see:

  • let be
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.