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be·​ing ˈbē(-i)ŋ How to pronounce being (audio)
: 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 fusedCarlos Lynes
: something that is conceivable and hence capable of existing
: something that actually exists
: the totality of existing things
: conscious existence : life
: the qualities that constitute an existent thing : essence
I knew it was true in the core of my being.
especially : personality
: a living thing
sentient beings
a mythical being
especially : person
a very sexual being


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


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


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present participle of be

Examples of being in a Sentence

Noun 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
Jennings is, for the time being, handling hosting duties himself. Kturnqui, oregonlive, 19 Sep. 2023 And the more that information is integrated, the more conscious the being that integrates it. Discover Magazine, 11 Sep. 2023 Reading Carl Jung’s theory of individuation, the development of self-realization, led her to see her seven chickens as one continuous being, always in communication with wild birds. Jennifer Piejko, Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2023 Resentful beings who can point fingers at everybody but themselves. Mike Postalakis, Spin, 5 Sep. 2023 Substance use in the United States Over 61 million Americans ages 12 and older have used illicit drugs as of 2021, with the most common being marijuana, according to data released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Anthony Robledo, USA TODAY, 1 Sep. 2023 The work is still nascent and, for the time being, will be reserved for lower-volume products. Mark Gurman, Fortune, 31 Aug. 2023 After seemingly never-ending strings of bloody conflicts, humans and supernatural beings alike will wage a desperate final battle for supremacy. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Sep. 2023 The initial take on fishman karate — the humanoid beings’ combat style — fell into the latter, Scalise said. Alexandra Del Rosario, Los Angeles Times, 4 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'being.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, from gerund of been be


Middle English, from present participle of been be


from being entry 2

First Known Use


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


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1528, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near being

Cite this Entry

“Being.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: the state of having life or existence
: one that exists in fact or thought
: a living thing
especially : human being

More from Merriam-Webster on being

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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