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

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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: Noun School officials say the summer programs will target a wide range of student needs, including boosting social and emotional well-being, providing academic support and mitigating the usual summer learning loss. Lillian Reed,, 4 June 2021 For the time being, however, players who usually come alive under the lights are met here with eerie silence in a city that has shut down till morning. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 4 June 2021 The Atlantic Ocean came into being when Pangea split apart and the rainfall spilling off the Appalachians rushed downhill, helping to fill the new sea. Washington Post, 4 June 2021 Well, a website that promotes social wellness, emotional and physical well-being, and mental health, and serves as a platform for various resources. Jennifer Shapiro-sacks,, 3 June 2021 In the case of Representative Cortez, calls to basically hand over people’s well-being to the government. Roger Valdez, Forbes, 3 June 2021 David Gilbert-Pederson, a political consultant in Minneapolis, posted images on Twitter of the memorial being dismantled. NBC News, 3 June 2021 Lowndes’ Land Use, Zoning and Environmental Group, received the Community Leader Award from the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce in recognition of her leadership and commitment to the betterment and well-being of the Winter Park community. Joe Rassel,, 3 June 2021 Through the size of her platform, however, and her decision to choose well-being over pursuit of a Grand Slam title, Osaka offers the promise of bringing mental health awareness—both inside and outside of sports—to an entirely new level. Sean Gregory, Time, 2 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for being

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for being

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Being.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on being

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for being

Nglish: Translation of being for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of being for Arabic Speakers


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