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 The announcers on that Nickelodeon broadcast had a classic reaction to having a F-bomb being heard. Andy Nesbitt, USA TODAY, "Bill Belichick just can't accept the Medal of Freedom from President Trump," 12 Jan. 2021 This year, perhaps, think of the ball as a large sedative being swallowed by the body politic. New York Times, "This New Year’s Eve, Times Square Will Be Filled With Hope. But Not People.," 30 Dec. 2020 CommonPass, an app being developed by the World Economic Forum in coordination with executives and officials from 52 countries, is undergoing trials with international airlines including United and Cathay Pacific. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, "Everything you need to know about vaccine passports," 29 Dec. 2020 No one on the UAB women’s basketball coaching staff would be watching or even could be watching last summer, thanks to the program being shut down in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Rick Armstrong,, "Column: A long, hot summer helped Geneva’s Margaret Whitley prepare for an expanded role at UAB in women’s basketball," 28 Dec. 2020 Five turnovers in seven possessions led to the Gophers' advantage being cut to 61-57 on Jordan Goodwin's jumper. Marcus Fuller, Star Tribune, "Gophers basketball gets back to winning, puts away St. Louis 90-82," 20 Dec. 2020 There’s no extra processing or graininess being introduced. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "AirPods Max review: A high price for luxury performance," 17 Dec. 2020 In 1990 there were movies and there was network television, with the former being considered decidedly superior. Julie Salamon, Town & Country, "Bonfire of the Vanities," 14 Dec. 2020 The tournament is set to begin on September 8, 2023, and will be played in nine cities across France, with the final being held in Paris. Ben Church, CNN, "2023 Rugby World Cup draw confirmed as New Zealand face host France in pool stage," 14 Dec. 2020

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

26 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Being.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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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