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


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

Thank you for being a beautiful teacher and a magnificent being. Georgia Slater,, "Demi Moore Shares Throwback Photos of Daughter Rumer Willis to Celebrate Her 31st Birthday," 17 Aug. 2019 The following players are all respectable football players and, in most cases, fine human beings. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "The Loop Fantasy Football Preview: The Overrated," 16 Aug. 2019 Butter Goblin: Seeking a hundred-and-five- to hundred-and-thirty-year-old being (client is strongly leaning toward using a genuine goblin, but humans who can pass as goblins encouraged to audition as well). Keaton Patti, The New Yorker, "Commercial Casting Breakdowns," 16 Aug. 2019 Mexico has a high rate of violence against women, with nine being murdered every day, the AFP reported, citing statistics from the United Nations. Fox News, "Six Mexican cops suspended over alleged rape of two teenage girls following large protests," 15 Aug. 2019 Every year, nearly 8 million animals end up in shelters nationwide, with only about 2.5 million being adopted, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘Clear the Shelters’ set for this weekend," 14 Aug. 2019 So far, 22 of the 90 or so existing cetacean species have had their genomes sequenced and added to the National Center for Biotechnology Information database, with more being added all the time. Doug Johnson, Quartz, "Elephants and whales could give us the cure for cancer—unless we keep killing them," 14 Aug. 2019 Furious, the judge said such a slip up could result in a 6-month-old being deported without his mother. Melissa Del Bosque, ProPublica, "The Case That Made an Ex-ICE Attorney Realize the Government Was Relying on False “Evidence” Against Migrants," 13 Aug. 2019 The discovery of one's identity through the discovery of the world around you, and everyone else around you, the beings around you. John Hammontree |, al, "Sonequa Martin-Green on Star Trek, Walking Dead, Space Jam and Alabama," 12 Aug. 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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Statistics for being

Last Updated

20 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for being

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with being

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for being

Spanish Central: Translation of being

Nglish: Translation of being for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of being for Arabic Speakers

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).


not constant or steady

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