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 beingplans 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 Any accident could have catastrophic and long-term consequences to the health and well-being of Michigan and the country. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Site near Lake Huron one of two finalists to store Canada's nuclear waste," 6 Dec. 2019 What is [the adult child’s] place in terms of being of help? Dan Snierson,, "This Is Us: Sterling K. Brown sheds light on Randall and Kevin's fracture, Rebecca's condition," 6 Dec. 2019 So the additional burdensome restrictions on SNAP eligibility for able-bodied adults would have ripple effects resulting in fewer resources available to support the health and well-being of children and threaten the health of communities nationwide. Stephanie Ettinger De Cuba, STAT, "Cutting 700,000 Americans from SNAP will increase health costs," 6 Dec. 2019 This suggests to us the need to take a more critical look at what large-scale assessments like the PISA really show and why countries with high PISA scores also score low in well-being. Yurou Wang, The Conversation, "Large-scale education tests often come with side effects," 6 Dec. 2019 Their steadfast commitment has played an important role in contributing to the cultural well-being of the community and in introducing us to artists who have not previously appeared in Florida. Kari Barnett,, "Kravis Center receives $10M donation for expansion project," 4 Dec. 2019 These are the microscopic beings that help individuals manipulate the Force. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "'The Mandalorian' Professes Its Love for Baby Yoda," 22 Nov. 2019 Fortunately, numerous charities and organizations across the Houston area are dedicated to putting the well-being of others first. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Here's how you can help your fellow Houstonian this holiday season," 14 Nov. 2019 But what’s more remarkable is the lack of investment into the emotional and mental well-being of the women impacted by fertility struggles. Michelle Kennedy, Glamour, "‘I Kept My Miscarriage a Secret From My Best Friend’," 14 Nov. 2019

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

10 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Being.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for being


How to pronounce being (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on being

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for being

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with being

Spanish Central: Translation of being

Nglish: Translation of being for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of being for Arabic Speakers

Comments on being

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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