Definitions for: Be

[n] a light strong brittle gray toxic bivalent metallic element
[v] spend or use time; "I may be an hour"
[v] work in a specific place, with a specific subject, or in a specific function; "He is a herpetologist"; "She is our resident philosopher"
[v] have an existence, be extant; "Is there a God?"
[v] have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun); "John is rich"; "This is not a good answer"
[v] have life, be alive; "Our great leader is no more"; "My grandfather lived until the end of war"
[v] be identical to; be someone or something, as in"The president of the company is John Smith"; "This is my house"
[v] form or compose; "This money is my only income"; "The stone wall was the backdrop for the performance"; "These constitute my entire belonging"; "The children made up the chorus"; "This sum represents my entire income for a year"; "These few men comprise his entire army"
[v] occupy a certain position or area; be somewhere; "Where is my umbrella?" "The toolshed is in the back"; "What is behind this behavior?"
[v] be identical or equivalent to; "One dollar equals 1,000 rubles these days!"
[v] represent, as of a character on stage; "Derek Jacobi was Hamlet"
[v] be priced at; "These shoes cost $100"
[v] to remain unmolested, undisturbed, or uninterrupted -- used only in infinitive form; "let her be"
[v] happen, occur, take place; "I lost my wallet; this was during the visit to my parents' house"; "There were two hundred people at his funeral"; "There was a lot of noise in the kitchen"

Webster (1913) Definition: Be, v. i. [imp. Was; p. p. Been; p. pr. & vb. n.
Being.] [OE. been, beon, AS. be['o]n to be, be['o]m I am;
akin to OHG. bim, pim, G. bin, I am, Gael. & Ir. bu was, W.
bod to be, Lith. bu-ti, O. Slav. by-ti, to be, L. fu-i I have
been, fu-turus about to be, fo-re to be about to be, and perh
to fieri to become, Gr. ? to be born, to be, Skr. bh? to be.
This verb is defective, and the parts lacking are supplied by
verbs from other roots, is, was, which have no radical
connection with be. The various forms, am, are, is, was,
were, etc., are considered grammatically as parts of the verb
``to be'', which, with its conjugational forms, is often
called the substantive verb. ?97. Cf. Future, Physic.]
1. To exist actually, or in the world of fact; to have

To be contents his natural desire. --Pope.

To be, or not to be: that is the question. --Shak.

2. To exist in a certain manner or relation, -- whether as a
reality or as a product of thought; to exist as the
subject of a certain predicate, that is, as having a
certain attribute, or as belonging to a certain sort, or
as identical with what is specified, -- a word or words
for the predicate being annexed; as, to be happy; to be
here; to be large, or strong; to be an animal; to be a
hero; to be a nonentity; three and two are five;
annihilation is the cessation of existence; that is the

3. To take place; to happen; as, the meeting was on Thursday.

4. To signify; to represent or symbolize; to answer to.

The field is the world. --Matt. xiii.

The seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the
seven churches. --Rev. i. 20.

Note: The verb to be (including the forms is, was, etc.) is
used in forming the passive voice of other verbs; as,
John has been struck by James. It is also used with the
past participle of many intransitive verbs to express a
state of the subject. But have is now more commonly
used as the auxiliary, though expressing a different
sense; as, ``Ye have come too late -- but ye are come.
'' ``The minstrel boy to the war is gone.'' The present
and imperfect tenses form, with the infinitive, a
particular future tense, which expresses necessity,
duty, or purpose; as, government is to be supported; we
are to pay our just debts; the deed is to be signed

Note: Have or had been, followed by to, implies movement. ``I
have been to Paris.'' --Sydney Smith. ``Have you been
to Franchard ?'' --R. L. Stevenson.

Note: Been, or ben, was anciently the plural of the
indicative present. ``Ye ben light of the world.''
--Wyclif, Matt. v. 14. Afterwards be was used, as in
our Bible: ``They that be with us are more than they
that be with them.'' --2 Kings vi. 16. Ben was also the
old infinitive: ``To ben of such power.'' --R. of
Gloucester. Be is used as a form of the present
subjunctive: ``But if it be a question of words and
names.'' --Acts xviii. 15. But the indicative forms, is
and are, with if, are more commonly used.

Be it so, a phrase of supposition, equivalent to suppose it
to be so; or of permission, signifying let it be so.

If so be, in case.

To be from, to have come from; as, from what place are you
? I am from Chicago.

To let be, to omit, or leave untouched; to let alone. ``Let
be, therefore, my vengeance to dissuade.'' --Spenser.

Syn: To be, Exist.

Usage: The verb to be, except in a few rare case, like that
of Shakespeare's ``To be, or not to be'', is used
simply as a copula, to connect a subject with its
predicate; as, man is mortal; the soul is immortal.
The verb to exist is never properly used as a mere
copula, but points to things that stand forth, or have
a substantive being; as, when the soul is freed from
all corporeal alliance, then it truly exists. It is
not, therefore, properly synonymous with to be when
used as a copula, though occasionally made so by some
writers for the sake of variety; as in the phrase
``there exists [is] no reason for laying new taxes.''
We may, indeed, say, ``a friendship has long existed
between them,'' instead of saying, ``there has long
been a friendship between them;'' but in this case,
exist is not a mere copula. It is used in its
appropriate sense to mark the friendship as having
been long in existence.

Be- [AS. be, and in accented form b[=i], akin to OS. be
and b[=i], OHG. bi, pi, and p[=i], MHG. be and b[=i], G. be
and bei, Goth. bi, and perh. Gr. ? about (cf. AS. bese['o]n
to look about). [root]203. Cf. By, Amb-.]
A prefix, originally the same word as by; joined with verbs,
it serves:
(a) To intensify the meaning; as, bespatter, bestir.
(b) To render an intransitive verb transitive; as, befall (to
fall upon); bespeak (to speak for).
(c) To make the action of a verb particular or definite; as,
beget (to get as offspring); beset (to set around).

Note: It is joined with certain substantives, and a few
adjectives, to form verbs; as, bedew, befriend,
benight, besot; belate (to make late); belittle (to
make little). It also occurs in certain nouns, adverbs,
and prepositions, often with something of the force of
the preposition by, or about; as, belief (believe),
behalf, bequest (bequeath); because, before, beneath,
beside, between. In some words the original force of be
is obscured or lost; as, in become, begin, behave,
behoove, belong.

Synonyms: atomic number 4, beryllium, constitute, equal, exist, follow, glucinium, live, make up, personify

Antonyms: differ

See Also: abound, accept, account, account for, act, add up, adhere, adorn, agree, amount, answer, appear, attend, balance, be, be given, be well, beat, beautify, bedevil, befuddle, begin, belong, beryl, body, body forth, breathe, brood, buy, buzz, center on, check, chrysoberyl, clean, coexist, cohere, come, come in for, come in handy, compact, compare, compose, comprise, confound, confuse, connect, consist, contain, continue, correspond, coruscate, cost, count, cover, cox, curve, cut, cut across, deck, decorate, define, delimit, delimitate, delineate, depend, deserve, disaccord, disagree, discombobulate, discord, diverge, domicile, domiciliate, draw, dwell, embellish, embody, encounter, end, endanger, enter, equate, exemplify, extend, extend to, face, fall, fall into, fall under, feel, figure, fill, fit, flow, follow, footle, form, fox, fuddle, gadolinite, gape, gibe, go, go to, grace, gravitate, grizzle, hail, hang, hang around, head, head up, hold, hoodoo, hum, hurt, impend, imperil, incarnate, incline, inhabit, interrelate, iridesce, jeopardise, jeopardize, jibe, jumble, keep one's distance, keep one's eyes off, keep one's hands off, kick about, kick around, kill, knock about, knock back, lallygag, lead, lean, lend, let go, lie, lie in, linger, litter, loaf, loiter, lollygag, look, lounge, lubricate, lurk, make, make sense, match, matter, measure, menace, merit, mess about, metal, metallic element, mill about, mill around, mingle, moon about, moon around, mope, need, number, obtain, occupy, occupy, osculate, owe, pack, pass, pay, people, peril, point, poke out, populate, pose, preexist, present, press, prevail, pride, promise, prove, put back, rage, range, rank, rate, reach, reach out, relate, remain, represent, require, reside, rest, retard, run, run into, rut, scintillate, seem, seethe, sell, set back, shack, shine, sit, sparkle, specify, squat, stagnate, stand, stand back, stand by, stand for, start, stay, stay away, stay on, stew, stick by, stick out, stick to, stick with, stink, straddle, stretch, stretch along, substantiate, subtend, suffer, suit, sulk, supplement, swing, symbolise, symbolize, take, take, tally, tarry, tend, terminate, test, threaten, throw, total, touch, translate, transplant, trim, turn out, turn up, typify, underlie, use up, vet, want, wash, weigh, wind, work, yaw, yawn, ytterbite

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