albeit

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the Middle English expression al be it (that), itself shortened from althagh it be that (although it be that), and thus composed from al (completely, entirely) + be (3rd person singular present subjunctive of been (to be)) + it.

Pronunciation[edit]

Conjunction[edit]

albeit

  1. Although, despite (it) being.
    He has a very good idea, albeit a strange one.
    • c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene vi], page 170:
      Ieſſ. Who are you? tell me for more certainty,
      Albeit Ile ſweare that I do know your tongue.
    • 2001, Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl, page 92:
      The stranger had crossed a sacred line. He had mentioned the men’s mothers. Nothing could get him out of a beating now, even the fact that he was obviously a simpleton. Albeit a simpleton with a good vocabulary.
    • 2007 June 17, Ellen Marrus, in the Houston Chronicle:
      There’s an easy, albeit expensive, way to fix the national crisis in forensic crime labs.
    • 2011 September 24, Ben Dirs, “Rugby World Cup 2011: England 67-3 Romania”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Up front, skipper and open-side Lewis Moody looked almost back to full fitness, while England's set-piece was barely troubled, albeit against a Romania side showing 11 changes from that beaten by Argentina earlier in the week.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The word albeit historically also introduced an independent clause as although does; however after the Early Modern English period, it ceased to do so, and today only introduces a noun phrase, adjectival phrase, adverbial phrase, or dependent clause.
  • Rarely, albethey is used when the meaning is “despite (the multiple things) being” rather than “despite (the single thing) being”; this is nonstandard, based on a flawed interpretation of albeit.

Synonyms[edit]

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