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be

3 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Be \Be\ (b[=e]), verb (used without an object) [imp. {Was} (w[o^]z); p. p. {Been} (b[i^]n); 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. fy^nai to be born, to be, Skr. bh[=u] 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. [root]97. Cf. {Future}, {Physic}.]

1. To exist actually, or in the world of fact; to have existence.

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 man.

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. 38.

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 to-morrow.

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. --Shak.

{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 cases, 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.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Be- \Be-\ [AS. be, and in accented form b[imac], akin to OS. be and b[imac], OHG. bi, pi, and p[imac], MHG. be and b[imac], G. be and bei, Goth. bi, and perh. Gr. 'amfi' 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.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

Be

noun

1: a light strong brittle grey toxic bivalent metallic element [syn: {beryllium}, {Be}, {glucinium}, {atomic number 4}]

verb

1: have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun); "John is rich"; "This is not a good answer"

2: be identical to; be someone or something; "The president of the company is John Smith"; "This is my house"

3: occupy a certain position or area; be somewhere; "Where is my umbrella?" "The toolshed is in the back"; "What is behind this behavior?"

4: have an existence, be extant; "Is there a God?" [syn: {exist}, {be}]

5: 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"

6: be identical or equivalent to; "One dollar equals 1,000 rubles these days!" [syn: {equal}, {be}] [ant: {differ}]

7: 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" [syn: {constitute}, {represent}, {make up}, {comprise}, {be}]

8: work in a specific place, with a specific subject, or in a specific function; "He is a herpetologist"; "She is our resident philosopher" [syn: {be}, {follow}]

9: represent, as of a character on stage; "Derek Jacobi was Hamlet" [syn: {embody}, {be}, {personify}]

10: spend or use time; "I may be an hour"

11: have life, be alive; "Our great leader is no more"; "My grandfather lived until the end of war" [syn: {be}, {live}]

12: to remain unmolested, undisturbed, or uninterrupted -- used only in infinitive form; "let her be"

13: be priced at; "These shoes cost $100" [syn: {cost}, {be}]


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