be·​ing | \ˈbē(-i)ŋ \

Definition of being 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1a : the quality or state of having existence a social movement that came into being in the 1960s artistic form comes into being only when two elements are successfully fused— Carlos Lynes

b(1) : something that is conceivable and hence capable of existing

(2) : something that actually exists

(3) : the totality of existing things

c : conscious existence : life

2 : the qualities that constitute an existent thing : essence I knew it was true in the core of my being. especially : personality

3 : a living thing sentient beings a mythical being especially : person a very sexual being



Definition of being (Entry 2 of 4)

: present used in the phrase for the time being plans to remain single for the time being



Definition of being (Entry 3 of 4)

chiefly dialectal

: since, because usually used with as, as how, or that


Definition of being (Entry 4 of 4)

present participle of be

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Examples of being in a Sentence


a social movement that was brought into being in the 1960s I knew it was true in the core of my being.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Her contribution to the health and well-being of the people of Michigan is huge and greatly appreciated by all those privileged to work with her, and should be acknowledged on behalf of every person who lives or works in Michigan. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Doc charged with involuntary manslaughter in Flint crisis wins top health award," 12 Oct. 2018 Trans Lifeline is a non-profit dedicated to the well-being of transgender people and staffed by transgender people, for transgender people. Kimberly Shappley, Good Housekeeping, "The Story of My Transgender Daughter Went Viral. Here's How Life Has Been for Us Since.," 20 July 2018 Social Responsibility The philosophy that companies and individuals should act in a way that advances the well-being of society and the planet. Lindsay Talbot, Marie Claire, "Your Everything Guide to a Sustainable Closet," 19 July 2018 That approach may be neglecting the well-being of doctors themselves, however, says study author Tait Shanafelt at Stanford University—with consequences for the rest of us. Lucas Laursen, Fortune, "Burned-Out Doctors Make Twice as Many Errors. The Business World Could Offer a Solution," 10 July 2018 Another 12 parents were found to be in federal and state custody on criminal charges, making a reunification impossible since the government can't transfer minors to state and local prisons to protect the well-being of the child. Alan Gomez, USA TODAY, "Trump administration will miss first deadline to reunify families," 9 July 2018 Beyond air quality, another primary concern to take into consideration during such strained times, and one worth addressing immediately, is the state of your emotional well-being. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "For Those Grappling With California Wildfires, Dangerous Air Quality Is a New Risk," 16 Nov. 2018 Back in May, Vytis Lasaitis, head coach of the Overwatch League’s Florida Mayhem, took a temporary break from his duties, citing his personal well-being. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Blizzard’s Overwatch League is making big changes with player wellness in mind," 2 Nov. 2018 The traditional open-world exploration interface has been cut down to a handful of symbols that track your core health and well-being, as well as an optional minimap that can collapse into a simple on-screen compass (or even to nothing at all). Daniel Starkey, Ars Technica, "Red Dead Redemption II review: Getting muddy in the wide-open frontier," 25 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'being.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of being


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1528, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for being


Middle English, from gerund of been be


Middle English, from present participle of been be


from being entry 2

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Statistics for being

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for being

The first known use of being was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of being

: a living thing

: the state of existing

: the most important or basic part of a person's mind or self


be·​ing | \ˈbē-iŋ \

Kids Definition of being

1 : the state of having life or existence He explained how the myth came into being.

2 : a living thing

3 : an entity believed to be divine

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More from Merriam-Webster on being

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with being

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for being

Spanish Central: Translation of being

Nglish: Translation of being for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of being for Arabic Speakers

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