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 well-being of student-athletes was all of our concern. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Eighth Former OSU Wrestler Says Jim Jordan Knew About Sexual Abuse," 10 July 2018 At Four Seasons the well-being of our guests is our top priority. Alexia Fernandez,, "Tori Spelling Says Her 15-Month-Old Son Beau Was 'Stabbed' by Nails at the Four Seasons Hotel," 10 July 2018 The Friendswood Public Library will present a free July 21 workshop for parents that will focus on the emotional and physical well-being of young people in the wake of the shooting at Santa Fe High School. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "Friendswood library to host coping workshop for parents and children in wake of Santa Fe," 5 July 2018 Could science be better applied to health and well-being? Mark Sappenfield, The Christian Science Monitor, "The largest patriotism," 3 July 2018 These are qualities that would benefit every human being. Dahleen Glanton,, "Death of Koko, the signing gorilla, reminds us what it means to be an exceptional human being," 26 June 2018 Since every human being has the right to seek asylum, people showing up at our border and asking for protection in our country are doing nothing less than following our laws. Luis Mancheno, CBS News, "Analysis: How the asylum process works, and how it needs to change," 8 June 2018 My hope for the future is that every being will live in harmony, peace, joy, love and light. Carole King, Billboard, "Carole King: Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community," 5 June 2018 So in some respects, yes, the classic romantic comedy—ones where women are reduced to male-obsessed beings—is dead. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Netflix Is Making the Rom-Com Cool Again," 10 July 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

17 Sep 2018

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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).


a magnificent or impressive array

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