be·​ing | \ ˈbē(-i)ŋ How to pronounce being (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Chelsea bosses will have drawn up a long list of replacements for Sarri, with the net being cast far and wide in the search of a new boss, from former Juventus boss Allegri to club legend Frank Lampard., "Javi Gracia: Why Chelsea Should Turn to Watford Boss for Maurizio Sarri Successor," 6 June 2019 Greene said the restrictions put an immediate end to research being done at Gladstone, in conjunction with an NIH lab in Montana, that was similar to the UCSF work with humanized mice. Erin Allday,, "UCSF loses contract as Trump administration restricts fetal tissue research," 5 June 2019 Or the kitchen handwashing sink being used as storage for two skillets and sans soap, anyway. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "Two-hundred rodent poops. Roaches in a microwave. Why these restaurants failed inspection," 4 June 2019 This year is already the state’s most active for tornadoes since 2013, with five being reported so far. Erin B. Logan,, "Howard roads reopen, power restored after tornado ripped through Glenelg last week," 4 June 2019 Are Aziraphale and Crowley friends, two immortal beings brought together by their unlikely love for earth and all its inhabitants? Elena Nicolaou,, "David Tennant & Michael Sheen Also Think Good Omens Is A Romance," 2 June 2019 Sometimes, however, the drug being tested is less effective than no medicine at all. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Placebo 1: Gilead 0," 25 Apr. 2019 Check out this video to see the first tiny home being printed: Eventually, the company's goal is to print homes in less than 24 hours. Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "This Tiny House Was 3D-Printed in Less Than 48 Hours," 20 Mar. 2019 The status bar will now show the encoding being used, too. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Latest Windows Insider build makes a major upgrade to, uh… Notepad," 10 Dec. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about being

Statistics for being

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for being

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for being



English Language Learners Definition of being

: a living thing
: the state of existing
formal : the most important or basic part of a person's mind or self


be·​ing | \ ˈbē-iŋ How to pronounce being (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!