I am

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Originally after Biblical usage (Exodus 3:14), translating Hebrew אֶהְיֶה ('ehyeh).

Noun[edit]

I am (uncountable)

  1. God, seen as self-sufficient and self-existent.
    • 1611, Bible, Authorized (King James) Version, Exodus 3:14:
      And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.
    • 1817, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literara, I.13:
      The primary imagination I hold to be the living Power and prime Agent of all human Perception, and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM.
  2. (colloquial, frequently with great) A self-centred, arrogant person.
    • 2003, Alasdair Gray, ‘Miss Kincaid's Autumn’, Canongate 2012 (Every Short Story), p. 751:
      Joe entered and said, ‘Dinner-time. The Great I Am upstairs has grudgingly assented to oxtail soup, bangers and mash, tinned peaches with ice cream.’