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.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɔːlˈbiː.ɪt/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ɔlˈbi.ət/
Audio (GA) (file)
- (cot–caught merger) IPA(key): /ɑlˈbi.ɪt/
- Hyphenation: al‧be‧it
- Although, despite (it) being.
- c. 1596–1598 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene vi], page 170:
- VVho are you? tell me for more certainty, / Albeit Ile ſvveare that I do knovv your tongue.
- 2007 June 17, Ellen Marrus, 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:
- 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.
- The word albeit historically also introduced an independent clause as although does (as in the Shakespearean quote above); 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 reanalysis of albeit.
- Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 22