was

[wuhz, woz; unstressed wuh z]

WATCH NOW: Here's A Little Reminder About "Were" Vs. "Was"

WATCH NOW: Here's A Little Reminder About "Were" Vs. "Was"

This man had a serious debate over using "were" vs. "was" ... at the pub. Makes sense. Did he figure it out?

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verb

1st and 3rd person singular pt. indicative of be.

Nearby words

  1. warty dyskeratoma,
  2. warwick,
  3. warwickshire,
  4. wary,
  5. warzone,
  6. wasabi,
  7. wasatch range,
  8. wash,
  9. wash dirty linen (laundry) in public,
  10. wash down

Origin of was

before 950; Middle English; Old English wæs, past tense singular of wesan to be; cognate with Old Frisian, Old High German, Gothic was, Old Norse var; cf. wassail

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.

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.

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.

(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

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.

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


British Dictionary definitions for was

was

verb

the past tense (indicative mood) of be 1
not standard a form of the subjunctive mood used in place of were, esp in conditional sentencesif the film was to be with you, would you be able to process it?

Word Origin for was

Old English wæs, from wesan to be; related to Old Frisian, Old High German was, Old Norse var

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

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

be

2

the internet domain name for

Belgium
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 was
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for was

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 was

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 was

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.