Dictionary.com

were

[ wur; unstressed wer; British also wair ]
/ wɜr; unstressed wər; British also wɛər /
Save This Word!

verb

a second person singular past indicative; first, second, and third person plural past indicative; and past subjunctive of be.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON AFFECT VS. EFFECT!

In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of were

First recorded before 1000; Middle English; Old English wǣre past subjunctive, wǣre past indicative second person singular and wǣron past indicative plural of wesan “to be”; cognate with Dutch, German waren, Danish var. See was
we're, were , where

Definition for were (2 of 2)

we're
[ weer ]
/ wɪər /

contraction of we are:We're happy to see you.
we're , were, where
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for were (1 of 2)

were
/ (wɜː, unstressed ) /

verb

the plural form of the past tense (indicative mood) of be and the singular form used with you. It is also used as a subjunctive, esp in conditional sentences
Old English wērun, wæron past tense plural of wesan to be; related to Old Norse vera, Old Frisian weria, Old High German werōn to last
Were, as a remnant of the past subjunctive in English, is used in formal contexts in clauses expressing hypotheses (if he were to die, she would inherit everything), suppositions contrary to fact (if I were you, I would be careful), and desire (I wish he were there now). In informal speech, however, was is often used instead

British Dictionary definitions for were (2 of 2)

we're
/ (wɪə) /

contraction of

we are
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
Learning At Home Just Got Easier!