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

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 Instead, in their moralistic zeal, Utah lawmakers imposed a black-and-white solution that ignores the nuance, punishes women and jeopardizes their health and well-being. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 May 2022 Housing security is crucial for a family’s short-term financial stability, and can also have a profound impact on the health and well-being of children, as well as their financial futures. Martha C. White, NBC News, 5 May 2022 As the war escalates, UNICEF is scaling up its humanitarian response to protect the mental health and well-being of children in Ukraine and in refugee-hosting countries. Sarah Ferguson, Forbes, 3 May 2022 Participants were asked about their sleep patterns, mental health and well-being, and took part in a series of cognitive tests. Katie Hunt, CNN, 2 May 2022 Last April, the Dancing With the Stars judge took a leave of absence to focus on her health and well-being. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, 19 Apr. 2022 Americans deserve to know that their health and well-being are at risk. Stanley Goldfarb, WSJ, 18 Apr. 2022 And it was exposed for its policy promoting employee health and well-being with reimbursements for expenses like golf lessons and private dance instruction. Robert Higgs, cleveland, 16 Apr. 2022 On one side of the issue were those who see climate change as a dire threat to humanity’s health and well-being, while on another side were those who contend the city has more urgent issues to confront. Joe Tash, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Being.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for being


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

More from Merriam-Webster on being

Nglish: Translation of being for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of being for Arabic Speakers


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