bee

1 of 4

noun (1)

1
: any of numerous hymenopterous insects (superfamily Apoidea) that differ from the related wasps especially in the heavier hairier body and in having sucking as well as chewing mouthparts, that feed on pollen and nectar, and that store both and often also honey see africanized bee, bumblebee, carpenter bee, honeybee, sweat bee
2
: an eccentric notion : fancy
beelike adjective

bee

2 of 4

noun (2)

: the letter b

bee

3 of 4

noun (3)

: a gathering of people for a specific purpose
a quilting bee

BEE

4 of 4

abbreviation

bachelor of electrical engineering
Phrases
bee in one's bonnet

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English bēo; akin to Old High German bīa bee, Old Irish bech, Lithuanian bitis

Noun (3)

perhaps from English dialect been help given by neighbors, from Middle English bene prayer, boon, from Old English bēn prayer — more at boon entry 1

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

1769, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bee was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near bee

Cite this Entry

“Bee.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bee. Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

bee

1 of 2 noun
: any of numerous insects (as the honeybees and bumblebees) that feed on pollen and nectar and sometimes produce honey and that differ from the wasps especially in the heavier hairier body and in having sucking as well as chewing mouthparts

bee

2 of 2 noun
: a gathering of people for a specific purpose
a quilting bee

Medical Definition

bee

noun
: honeybee
broadly : any of numerous hymenopteran insects (superfamily Apoidea) that differ from the related wasps especially in the heavier hairier body and in having sucking as well as chewing mouthparts, that feed on pollen and nectar, and that store both and often also honey see africanized bee

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