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.

verb (used with object) present singular 1st person am,2nd are,3rd is,present plural are;past singular 1st person was,2nd were3rd was,past plural were.

Informal. to say, declare, think, or feel (usually used to introduce reported speech or thought): So I'm walking down my street yesterday, and I'm “Why is there a crowd in front of my house?”

QUIZZES

DON’T VACILLATE! VANQUISH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

It’d be a real faux pas to miss this quiz on the words from August 3–9, 2020!
Question 1 of 7
What does “vacillate” mean?

Origin of be

First recorded before 900; Middle English been, Old English bēon “to be” (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,” Old Church Slavonic byti, Persian būdan “to be”); see am, is, are1, was, were

grammar notes for be

See me.

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH be

be , bee.

Definition for be (2 of 6)

Be

Symbol, Chemistry.

beryllium.

Definition for be (3 of 6)

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 (4 of 6)

Bé.

Baumé.

Definition for be (5 of 6)

B/E

or b.e.


bill of exchange.

Definition for be (6 of 6)

B.E.

Bachelor of Education.
Bachelor of Engineering.
Bank of England.
bill of exchange.
Board of Education.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for be (1 of 7)

be1
/ (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)

be2

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)

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 (6 of 7)


abbreviation for

Baumé

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

Medical 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.

Scientific definitions for be

Be

The symbol for beryllium.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with be

be

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