- the fact of existing; existence (as opposed to nonexistence).
- conscious, mortal existence; life: Our being is as an instantaneous flash of light in the midst of eternal night.
- substance or nature: of such a being as to arouse fear.
- something that exists: inanimate beings.
- a living thing: strange, exotic beings that live in the depths of the sea.
- a human being; person: the most beautiful being you could imagine.
- (initial capital letter) God.
- that which has actuality either materially or in idea.
- absolute existence in a complete or perfect state, lacking no essential characteristic; essence.
- Nonstandard. since; because; considering that (often followed by as, as how, or that): Being it's midnight, let's go home. Being as how you cooked supper, I'll do the dishes.
Origin of being
- to exist or live: Shakespeare's “To be or not to be” is the ultimate question.
- to take place; happen; occur: The wedding was last week.
- to occupy a place or position: The book is on the table.
- to continue or remain as before: Let things be.
- to belong; attend; befall: May good fortune be with you.
- (used as a copula to connect the subject with its predicate adjective, or predicate nominative, in order to describe, identify, or amplify the subject): Martha is tall. John is president. This is she.
- (used as a copula to introduce or form interrogative or imperative sentences): Is that right? Be quiet! Don't be facetious.
- (used with the present participle of another verb to form the progressive tense): I am waiting.
- (used with the present participle or infinitive of the principal verb to indicate future action): She is visiting there next week. He is to see me today.
- (used with the past participle of another verb to form the passive voice): The date was fixed. It must be done.
- (used in archaic or literary constructions with some intransitive verbs to form the perfect tense): He is come. Agamemnon to the wars is gone.
Origin of be
Related Words for beingliving, life, presence, subsistence, vitality, reality, animation, world, actuality, journey, individuality, substance, essence, self, character, soul, texture, entity, quintessence, essentiality
Examples from the Web for being
Contemporary Examples of being
In 2011 LGBT media outlet Queerty took the app to task for allegedly deleting accounts that made reference to being trans.Grindr’s Trans Dating Problem
January 9, 2015
Why, some might be asking, am I being so harsh on their work so soon after they died?Trolls and Martyrdom: Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie
January 9, 2015
However, more than 20 players on the ballot this year were probably worthy of being enshrined in Cooperstown.Conservative Curt Says His Politics, Not His Pitching, Kept Him Out of the Hall of Fame
January 9, 2015
To do so is to deify a celebrity for being what we need them to be, while willfully ignoring who they really are.Phylicia Rashad and the Cult of Cosby Truthers
January 8, 2015
He has wild swings between trying not to care about Lana and the baby, and being completely obsessed by it.‘Archer’ Creator Adam Reed Spills Season 6 Secrets, From Surreal Plotlines to Life Post-ISIS
January 8, 2015
Historical Examples of being
If a servant complained of being abused, his master had no power to retain him.
That being impossible, none other was graceful; hence none other was to be considered.
To Billy Brue was allotted the easiest as being the most probable route.
"Marvellous, indeed, is the mystery of our being," exclaimed Anaxagoras.
Meantime the stronghold of Mauburn's optimism was being desperately stormed.
- the state or fact of existing; existence
- essential nature; selfshe put her whole being into the part
- something that exists or is thought to exist, esp something that cannot be assigned to any categorya being from outer space
- a person; human being
- (in the philosophy of Aristotle) actualityCompare becoming (def. 3)
- bill of exchange
- (in the US) Board of Education
- Bachelor of Education
- Bachelor of Engineering
- 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 beon, beom, bion "be, exist, come to be, become, happen," from Proto-Germanic *biju- "I am, I will be." This "b-root" is from PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow, come into being," and in addition to the words in English it yielded German present first and second person singular (bin, bist, from Old High German bim "I am," bist "thou art"), Latin perfective tenses of esse (fui "I was," etc.), Old Church Slavonic byti "be," Greek phu- "become," Old Irish bi'u "I am," Lithuanian bu'ti "to be," Russian byt' "to be," etc. It also is behind Sanskrit bhavah "becoming," bhavati "becomes, happens," bhumih "earth, world."
The modern verb to be in its entirety represents the merger of two once-distinct verbs, the "b-root" represented by be and the am/was verb, which was itself a conglomerate. Roger Lass ("Old English") describes the verb as "a collection of semantically related paradigm fragments," while Weekley calls it "an accidental conglomeration from the different Old English dial[ect]s." It is the most irregular verb in Modern English and the most common. Collective in all Germanic languages, it has eight different forms in Modern English:
BE (infinitive, subjunctive, imperative)
AM (present 1st person singular)
ARE (present 2nd person singular and all plural)
IS (present 3rd person singular)
WAS (past 1st and 3rd persons singular)
WERE (past 2nd person singular, all plural; subjunctive)
BEING (progressive & present participle; gerund)
BEEN (perfect participle).
The paradigm in Old English was:
|1st pres.||ic eom|
|2nd pres.||þu eart|
|3rd pres.||he is|
|1st pret.||ic wæs||we wæron|
|2nd pret.||þu wære||ge waeron|
|3rd pret.||heo wæs||hie wæron|
|1st pret. subj.||ic wære||we wæren|
|2nd pret. subj.||þu wære||ge wæren|
|3rd pret. subj.||Egcferð wære||hie wæren|
The "b-root" had no past tense in Old English, but often served as future tense of am/was. In 13c. it took the place of the infinitive, participle and imperative forms of am/was. Later its plural forms (we beth, ye ben, they be) became standard in Middle English and it made inroads into the singular (I be, thou beest, he beth), but forms of are claimed this turf in the 1500s and replaced be in the plural. For the origin and evolution of the am/was branches of this tangle, see am and was.
That but this blow Might be the be all, and the end all. ["Macbeth" I.vii.5]
- The symbol for the elementberyllium
- The symbol for beryllium.
see for the moment (time being); other things being equal.
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
- let be