be

[bee; unstressed bee, bi]

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.


Nearby words

  1. bdle.,
  2. bdrm.,
  3. bds,
  4. bdsa,
  5. bdsm,
  6. be a credit to,
  7. be along,
  8. be big on,
  9. be bound to,
  10. be busted

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 confusedbe bee

Usage note

See me.

Be

Symbol, Chemistry.

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

Bé.

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

B.E.

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

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

be

1

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)

to have presence in the realm of perceived reality; exist; liveI think, therefore I am; not all that is can be understood
(used in the perfect or past perfect tenses only) to pay a visit; gohave you been to Spain?
to take place; occurmy birthday was last Thursday
(copula) used as a linking verb between the subject of a sentence and its noun or adjective complement or complementing phrase. In this case be expresses the relationship of either essential or incidental equivalence or identity (John is a man; John is a musician) or specifies an essential or incidental attribute (honey is sweet; Susan is angry). It is also used with an adverbial complement to indicate a relationship of location in space or time (Bill is at the office; the dance is on Saturday)
(takes a present participle) forms the progressive present tensethe man is running
(takes a past participle) forms the passive voice of all transitive verbs and (archaically) certain intransitive onesa good film is being shown on television tonight; I am done
(takes an infinitive) expresses intention, expectation, supposition, or obligationthe president is to arrive at 9.30; you are not to leave before I say so
(takes a past participle) forms the perfect or past perfect tense of certain intransitive verbs of motion, such as go or comethe last train is gone
be that as it may the facts concerning (something) are of no importance

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

the internet domain name for

Belgium

Be

the chemical symbol for

beryllium

BE

abbreviation for

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

abbreviation for

Baumé

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

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

Word Origin and History for be
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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

Be

The symbol for beryllium.

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.