verb \ˈbē\

—used to indicate the identity of a person or thing

—used to describe the qualities of a person or thing

—used to indicate the condition of a person or thing

past 1st & 3d singular was \ˈwəz, ˈwäz\ 2d singular were \ˈwər\ plural were past subjunctive were past participle been \ˈbin, ˈben, chiefly British ˈbēn\ present participle be·ing \ˈbē(-i)ŋ\ present 1st singular am \əm, ˈam\ 2d singular are \ˈär, ər\ 3d singular is \ˈiz, əz\ plural are present subjunctive be

Full Definition of BE

intransitive verb
a :  to equal in meaning :  have the same connotation as :  symbolize <God is love> <January is the first month> <let x be 10>
b :  to have identity with <the first person I met was my brother>
c :  to constitute the same class as
d :  to have a specified qualification or characterization <the leaves are green>
e :  to belong to the class of <the fish is a trout> —used regularly in senses 1a through 1e as the copula of simple predication
a :  to have an objective existence :  have reality or actuality :  live <I think, therefore I am>
b :  to have, maintain, or occupy a place, situation, or position <the book is on the table>
c :  to remain unmolested, undisturbed, or uninterrupted —used only in infinitive form <let him be>
d :  to take place :  occur <the concert was last night>
e :  to come or go <has already been and gone> <has never been to the circus>
f archaic :  belong, befall
verbal auxiliary
—used with the past participle of transitive verbs as a passive-voice auxiliary <the money was found> <the house is being built>
—used as the auxiliary of the present participle in progressive tenses expressing continuous action <he is reading> <I have been sleeping>
—used with the past participle of some intransitive verbs as an auxiliary forming archaic perfect tenses <Christ is risen from the dead — 1 Corinthians 15:20(Douay Version)>
—used with the infinitive with to to express futurity, arrangement in advance, or obligation <I am to interview him today> <she was to become famous>

Examples of BE

  1. <stories that begin with the familiar line once upon a time there was a beautiful maiden>
  2. <we'll be there waiting for you>

Origin of BE

Middle English, from Old English bēon; akin to Old High German bim am, Latin fui I have been, futurus about to be, fieri to become, be done, Greek phynai to be born, be by nature, phyein to produce
First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with BE

b, bee, c, cay, cee, Cree, d, dee, Dee, dree, e, fee, flea, flee, free, g, gee, ghee, glee, gree, he, key, Key, knee, lea, lee, me, mi, p, pea, pee, plea, pree, quay, re, Rhee, scree, sea, see, she, si, ski, spree, sri, t, tea, tee, the, thee, three, ti, tree, twee, Twi, v, vee, we, wee, whee, ye, z, zee



Definition of BE


Other Chemical Engineering Terms

alkali, cation, decant, hygroscopic, isotope, oxidize, slurry, solute, viscous



Definition of BE

bachelor of education
bachelor of engineering
bill of exchange
Black English

Other Education Terms

baccalaureate, colloquium, corequisite, dissertation, monograph, pedant, practicum, survey course, thesis


Definition of

BE Defined for Kids


verb \bē\
past first person & third person singular was \wəz, ˈwəz, wäz\ second person singular were \wər, ˈwər\ plural were past subjunctive were past participle been \bin\ present participle be·ing \ˈbē-iŋ\ present first person singular am \əm, am\ second person singular are \ər, är\ third person singular is \iz, əz\ plural are present subjunctive be

Definition of BE for Kids

:  to equal in meaning or identity <She is my neighbor.>
:  to have a specified character, quality, or condition <The leaves are green.> <How are you? I am fine.>
:  to belong to the group or class of <Apes are mammals.>
:  to exist or live <Once there was a brave knight.>
:  to occupy a place, situation, or position <The book is on the table.>
:  to take place <The concert was last night.>
:  1cost 1
—used as a helping verb with other verbs <The ball was thrown.>


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