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

The decision to care for a living being — besides yourself, that is — is not one to be taken lightly. The Editors Of House Beautiful, House Beautiful, "What You MUST Consider Before Buying That Plant," 31 Aug. 2018 The film beings with a story some may be familiar with. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'Three Identical Strangers:' A fascinating, if incomplete, puzzle," 5 July 2018 On Friday, Disney Parks released a new video showcasing its acrobatic new robots, beings designed to move much like an agile human, only more precisely and also they're made of metal. Tom Philip, GQ, "Cool, Disney Parks Imagineers Are Making Actual *Killer Robots Now," 29 June 2018 The state also ranked among the top five for three indicators: economic well-being, education, health and family/community. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "For first time since 2012, Georgia isn’t one of the 10 worst states for children," 28 June 2018 This will not look cute on most non-Jenner human beings, FYI. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Kylie Jenner Talks Us Through Her Makeup Routine, Start to Finish," 28 June 2018 The indicators were broken into four areas: health, education, economic well-being, and family and community. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "1 in 5 Michigan kids in poverty, new study shows," 27 June 2018 Texas ranked 43rd overall and was well behind most states in the individual categories, ranking 35th in economic well-being, 32nd in education, 41st in health and 47th in family and community conditions. Catherine Marfin, San Antonio Express-News, "Study: Texas ranks 43rd in child well-being," 26 June 2018 For many people, that shift is marked by feelings of steady energy and well-being, along with a satiety that helps with weight loss. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "I Hacked My Body So You Don't Have To," 25 June 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

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on being

What made you want to look up being? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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