archaic past tense second-person singular of be

intransitive verb

: to equal in meaning : have the same connotation as : symbolize
January is the first month
let x be 10
: to have identity with : to constitute the same idea or object as
The first person I met was my brother.
: to constitute the same class as
These three books are the authoritative works on the president's life.
: to have a specified qualification or characterization
The leaves are green.
: to belong to the class of
the fish is a trout
Keeping this room clean is your responsibility.
used regularly in senses 1a through 1e as the copula of simple predication
: to have an objective existence : have reality or actuality : live
I think, therefore I am.
: to have, maintain, or occupy a place, situation, or position
the book is on the table
: to remain unmolested, undisturbed, or uninterrupted
used only in infinitive form
Let him be.
: to take place : occur
The concert was last night.
: to come or go
has already been and gone
has never been to the circus
archaic : belong, befall
… to thine and Albany's issue be this perpetual.William Shakespeare

auxiliary verb

used with the past participle of transitive verbs as a passive-voice auxiliary
The money was found.
The house is being built.
used as the auxiliary of the present participle in progressive tenses expressing continuous action
He is reading.
I have been sleeping.
used with the past participle of some intransitive verbs as an auxiliary forming archaic perfect tenses
… Christ is risen from the dead …1 Corinthians 15:20 (Douay Version)
used with to + infinitive to express futurity, arrangement in advance, or obligation
I am to interview him today.
She was to become famous.
used in the uninflected form be in African American English and to varying degrees in some other varieties of English to indicate that an action or state is habitual or frequent
I be singing in the shower.
… they be bothering you while you try and do your work. …unidentified African American English speaker, quoted in The Corpus of Regional African American Language

Note: In linguistics, this use of be is referred to as aspectual be, habitual be, or invariant be.

compare BEEN

Dictionary Entries Near wert

Cite this Entry

“Wert.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

archaic past 2nd singular of be

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!