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 Covid-19 has taken an immense toll on kids’ psychological well-being. Amy Morin, NBC News, "5 ways parents can address their kids' mental health fallout from the past year," 30 Mar. 2021 The exhibition kicked off the museum’s Being Well Initiative, which addresses physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being through activities ranging from meditation and dance to art-making and storytelling., "Art reflecting our world: Peabody Essex Museum launches exhibits that portray today’s concerns," 25 Mar. 2021 For that matter, think about our use of G.D.P. to indicate a country’s economic well-being. Hannah Fry, The New Yorker, "What Data Can’t Do," 22 Mar. 2021 Financial know-how can set your little one up for lifelong well-being. Simon Hill, Wired, "How to Teach Your Kids About Money," 21 Mar. 2021 After all, doing so cares for all of us—and for our country’s economic well-being at this fragile time. Tina Tchen, Fortune, "If Congress wants to spark economic recovery, it must invest in care," 20 Mar. 2021 Businesses that emphasize empathy, compassion and genuine care for employees’ well-being have won applause from employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rita Men, The Conversation, "3 ways employers could help fight vaccine skepticism," 18 Mar. 2021 City and district leaders say their decision to transition those 9,600 students back to in-person learning was driven by slipping academic achievement and the need to better support students’ social and emotional well-being. Rebecca Lurye,, "Hartford schools call on remote learners to return to classrooms full time on March 29," 18 Mar. 2021 Disenrolling means students miss out on school lunches, counseling, social services and a connection with teachers, who are key advocates for students’ well-being. Koby Levin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's public schools lost 62,000 students this fall, thousands more than estimated," 17 Mar. 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

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Being.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 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

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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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