be

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English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English been (to be). The various forms have three separate origins, which were mixed together at various times in the history of English.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

be (highly irregular; inflected forms being, been, am, are, is, was, were)

  1. (intransitive, now usually literary) To exist; to have real existence, to be alive.
    The Universe has no explanation: it just is.
    • 1526, [William Tyndale, transl.], The Newe Testamẽt [] (Tyndale Bible), [Worms, Germany: Peter Schöffer], OCLC 762018299, Matthew ij:[18], folio iij, recto:
      Rachel wepynge ffor her chyldren / and wolde nott be comforted becauſe they were not.
    • c. 1599–1602, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene iii], page 265:
      To be, or not to be: that is the question: / Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer / The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, / Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, / And by opposing end them?
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 12, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes [], book II, London: [] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], OCLC 946730821, page 351:
      [] it were great sottishnesse, and apparent false-hood, to say, that that is which is not yet in being, or that already hath ceased from being.
    • 1643, Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, II.2, link:
      There is surely a peece of Divinity in us, something that was before the Elements, and owes no homage unto the Sun.
    • 1893, Andrew Martin Fairbairn, Christ in the Centuries, and Other Sermons, volume 12, second edition, E.P. Dutton & Company, page 116:
      And after this death there is to be no resurrection. The old man of sin has ceased to be; once crucified, he lives no more. The death is utter; the end complete.
    • 1969 December 7, Monty Python, “Full Frontal Nudity, Dead Parrot sketch”, in Monty Python's Flying Circus, spoken by Mr Praline (John Cleese):
      This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late parrot! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed it to the perch it would be pushing up the daisies!
    • 2004, Richard Schickel, "Not Just an African Story", Time, 13 December:
      The genial hotel manager of the past is no more. Now owner of a trucking concern and living in Belgium, Rusesabagina says the horrors he witnessed in Rwanda "made me a different man."
  2. (with there, or dialectally it, as dummy subject) To exist.
    • c. 1596–1598, 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 606515358, [Act IV, scene i], page 178:
      Some men there are loue not a gaping Pigge: / Some that are mad, if they behold a Cat: / And others, when the bag-pipe sings i’th nose, / Cannot containe their Vrine for affection.
    • 1817 December, [Jane Austen], Persuasion; published in Northanger Abbey: And Persuasion. [], volume IV, London: John Murray, [], 1818, OCLC 318384910, page 170:
      "There is a sort of domestic enjoyment to be known even in a crowd, and this you had."
    • 2011, Mark Sweney, The Guardian, 6 July:
      "There has been lots of commentary on who is staying and who is staying out and this weekend will be the real test," said one senior media buying agency executive who has pulled the advertising for one major client.
    There is just one woman in town who can help us. (or, dialectally:) It is just one woman in town who can help us.
  3. (intransitive) To occupy a place.
    The cup is on the table.
  4. (intransitive) To occur, to take place.
    When will the meeting be?
  5. (intransitive, in perfect tenses, without predicate) Elliptical form of "be here", "go to and return from" or similar, also extending to certain other senses of "go".
    The postman has been today, but my tickets have still not yet come.
    I have been to Spain many times.
    We've been about twenty miles.
    I have terrible constipation – I haven't been for several days.
    They have been to a great deal of trouble.
  6. (transitive, copulative) Used to indicate that the subject and object are the same.
    Knowledge is bliss.
    Hi, I’m Jim.
  7. (transitive, copulative, mathematics) Used to indicate that the values on either side of an equation are the same.
    3 times 5 is fifteen.
  8. (transitive, copulative) Used to indicate that the subject is an instance of the predicate nominal.
    A dog is an animal. Dogs are animals.
  9. (transitive, copulative) Used to indicate that the subject plays the role of the predicate nominal.
    François Mitterrand was president of France from 1981 to 1995.
  10. (transitive, copulative) Used to indicate that the subject has the qualities described by an adjective.
    The sky is blue.
    Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. (Luke 22:42)
  11. (transitive, copulative) Used to indicate that the subject has the qualities described by a noun or noun phrase.
    The sky is a deep blue today.
  12. (transitive, auxiliary) Used to form the passive voice.
    The dog was saved by the boy.
    • 1995, C. K. Ogden, Psyche: An Annual General and Linguistic Psychology 1920-1952, C. K. Ogden, →ISBN, page 13:
      Study courses of Esperanto and Ido have been broadcast.
  13. (transitive, auxiliary) Used to form the continuous forms of various tenses.
    The woman is walking.
    I shall be writing to you soon.
    We liked to chat while we were eating.
    • 1995, C. K. Ogden, Psyche: An Annual General and Linguistic Psychology 1920-1952, C. K. Ogden, →ISBN, page 13:
      In the possibility of radio uses of a constructed language — and such experiments are proving successful—vast sums of money and untold social forces may be involved.
  14. (auxiliary) Used to form the perfect aspect with certain intransitive verbs; this was more common in archaic use, especially with verbs indicating motion. "He is finished", and "He is gone" are common, but "He is come" is archaic.
  15. (formal, transitive, auxiliary) Used to express future action as well as what is due to, intended to, or should happen.
    They are to be married next month.
    They are to stay here until I return.
    They are not to be blamed.
    How are they to get out of this mess?
    I am to leave tomorrow.
    I would drive you, were I to obtain a car.
  16. (transitive, copulative) Used to link a subject to a measurement.
    This building is three hundred years old.
    I am 75 kilograms.
    He’s about 6 feet tall.
  17. (transitive, copulative, with a cardinal numeral) Used to state the age of a subject in years.
    I’m 20. (= I am 20 years old.)
  18. (with a dummy subject it) Used to indicate the time of day.
    It is almost eight. (= It is almost eight o’clock.)
    It’s 8:30 [read eight-thirty] in Tokyo.
    What time is it there? It’s night.
  19. (With since) Used to indicate passage of time since the occurrence of an event.
    It has been three years since my grandmother died. (similar to My grandmother died three years ago, but emphasizes the intervening period)
    It had been six days since his departure, when I received a letter from him.
  20. (rare and regional, chiefly in the past tense) Used to link two noun clauses, the first of which is a day of the week, recurring date, month, or other specific time (on which the event of the main clause took place), and the second of which is a period of time indicating how long ago that day was. [from 15th c.]
    I saw her Monday was a week: I saw her a week ago last Monday (a week before last Monday).
    On the morning of Sunday was fortnight before Christmas: on the morning of the Sunday that was two weeks before the Sunday prior to Christmas.
    • 1748, [Samuel Richardson], Clarissa. Or, The History of a Young Lady: [], volume V, London: [] S[amuel] Richardson; [], OCLC 13631815, page 97:
      Miss Lardner (whom you have seen at her cousin Biddulph's) saw you at St James's church on Sunday was fortnight.
    • 1770, Ireland, Historical Memoirs of the Irish Rebellion, in the year 1641 ... In a letter to Walter Harris, Esq; [By John Curry.] The fourth edition, with corrections throughout the whole, and large additions, by the author, page 186:
      And so, without as much as to return home to furnish myself for such a journey, volens, nolens, they prevailed, or rather forced me to come to Dublin to confer with those colonels, and that was the last August was twelvemonth.
    • 1803, Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons, Journals of the House of Commons, page 249:
      That they were present at the Election in August was Twelvemonth, at which there was the strictest Scrutiny that ever they saw in their Lives, by all the Four Candidates.
    • 1815 February 24, [Walter Scott], chapter V, in Guy Mannering; [], volume I, Edinburgh: [] James Ballantyne and Co. for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, []; and Archibald Constable and Co., [], OCLC 742335644, pages 79-80:
      Allow me to recommend some of the kipper—It was John Hay that catched it Saturday was three weeks.
    • 1859, George Eliot [pseudonym; Mary Ann Evans], Adam Bede [], volume III, Edinburgh; London: William Blackwood and Sons, OCLC 2108290, book fifth, page 53:
      “Did there come no young woman here—very young and pretty—Friday was a fortnight, to see Dinah Morris?”
    • 1895, Miss M. E. Rope of Suffolk, quoted by Joseph Wright, in The English Dialect Dictionary, page 202:
      'Twas there to-morrow is a week.
    • 1907, John Millington Synge, The Playboy of the Western World, I, page 20:
      I killed my poor father, Tuesday was a week, for doing the like of that.
    • 1920 (published), St. George Kieran Hyland, A Century of Persecution Under Tudor and Stuart Sovereigns from Contemporary Records, London, Paul, page 402, quoting an earlier document, Loosley volume 5, no. 28, "List of Prisoners: In Sir W. More's handwriting": :
      Theobald Green gent dead in the Marshalsea in August was twelvemonth
      John Grey gent delivered out of the Marshalsea about August last by Mr. Secretary and remains in St. Mary Overies.
      John Jacob gent delivered out of the Marsh. the XVII of May was twelvemonth and sent to Bridewell by order of the Council.
  21. (often impersonal, with it as a dummy subject) Used to indicate weather, air quality, or the like.
    It is hot in Arizona, but it is not usually humid.
    Why is it so dark in here?
  22. (dynamic / lexical "be", especially in progressive tenses, conjugated non-suppletively in the present tense, see usage notes) To exist or behave in a certain way.
    • 2006 October 9, Kristin Newman (writer), Barney Stinson (character), How I Met Your Mother, season 2, episode 1:
      "When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead."
    "What do we do?" "We be ourselves."
    Why is he being nice to me?
  23. (African-American Vernacular, Caribbean, auxiliary, not conjugated) To tend to do, often do; marks the habitual aspect.
    • 1996, David Sheffield, Barry W. Blaustein, Tom Shadyac and Steve Oedekerk, screenplay of The Nutty Professor
      Women be shoppin’! You cannot stop a woman from shoppin’!
    • 2020, Moneybagg Yo, Thug Cry
      Niggas be tellin' these bitches 'bout business
Usage notes[edit]
  • When used copulatively with a pronoun, traditional grammar puts the pronoun in the subjective case (I, he, she, we, they) rather than the objective case (me, him, her, us, them), regardless of which side of the copula it is placed. For example, “I was the masked man” and “The masked man was I” would both be considered correct, while “The masked man was me” and “Me was the masked man” would both be incorrect. However, most colloquial speech treats the verb be as transitive, in which case the pronoun is used in the objective case if it occurs after the copula: “I was the masked man” but “The masked man was me”. This paradigm applies even if the copula is linking two pronouns; thus “I am her” and “She is me", and “Am I me?” (versus the traditional “I am she”, “She is I”, “Am I I?”). However, the use of whom with a copula is generally considered incorrect and a hypercorrection, though in some cases (especially in sentences involving a to-infinitive or a perfect tense), such as “Whom do you want to be?”, it can come naturally to some speakers; in short, straightforward sentences, such as “Whom are you?”, this is much rarer and likelier to be considered incorrect.
  • Except senses 12 (auxiliary forming the passive voice), 13 (auxiliary forming the continuous aspect) and 22 (dynamic or lexical be), this is generally a stative verb that rarely takes the continuous aspect. See Category:English stative verbs.
Conjugation[edit]

*Some non-standard dialects use were in these instances.
**Some non-standard dialects use was in these instances.
***Some non-standard forms use is in these instances.
****Some non-standard dialects use was in these instances.

*Some non-standard dialects will have were in these instances.
**Some non-standard dialects will have was in these instances.
***Subject pronoun is optional.

  • The verb be is the most irregular non-defective verb in Standard English. Unlike other verbs, which distinguish at most five forms (as in dodoesdoingdiddone), be distinguishes many more:
    • Be itself is the plain form, used as the infinitive, as the imperative, and as the present subjunctive (though many speakers do not distinguish the present indicative and present subjunctive, using the indicative forms for both).
      I want to be a father someday. (infinitive)
      If that be true... (present subjunctive; is is common in this position)
      Allow the truth to be heard! (infinitive)
      Please be here by eight o’clock. (imperative)
      The librarian asked that the rare books not be touched. (present subjunctive; speakers that do not distinguish the subjunctive and indicative would use an auxiliary verb construction here)
    • Be is also used as the present tense indicative form in the alternative, dynamic / lexical conjugation of be:
      What do we do? We be ourselves. (first-person plural present indicative, lexical be)
      but: Who are we? We are human beings. (first-person plural present indicative, copula be)
    • It is also an archaic alternative form of the indicative, especially in the plural:[1]
      The powers that be, are ordained of God. (Romans 13:1, Tyndale Bible, 1526)[2]
      We are true men; we are no spies: We be twelve brethren... (Genesis 42:31-2, King James Version, 1611)[3]
      I think it be thine indeed, for thou liest in it. (Hamlet, Act V, Scene 1, circa 1600 — though this may be viewed as the subjunctive instead)[4]
    • Am, are, and is are the forms of the present indicative. Am is the first-person singular (used with I); is is the third-person singular (used with he, she, it and other subjects that would be used with does rather than do); and are is both the second-person singular and the plural (used with we, you, they, and any other plural subjects).
      Am I in the right place? (first-person singular present indicative)
      You are even taller than your brother! (second-person singular present indicative)
      Where is the library? (third-person singular present indicative)
      These are the biggest shoes we have. (plural present indicative)
    • Was and were are the forms of the past indicative and past subjunctive (like did). In the past indicative, was is the first- and third-person singular (used with I, as well as with he, she, it and other subjects that would be used with does rather than do), and were is both the second-person singular and the plural (used with we, you, they, and any other plural subjects). In the traditional past subjunctive, were is used with all subjects, though many speakers do not actually distinguish the past subjunctive from the past indicative, and therefore use was with first- and third-person singular subjects even in cases where other speakers would use were.
      I was out of town. (first-person singular past indicative)
      You were the first person here. (second-person singular past indicative)
      The room was dirty. (third-person singular past indicative)
      We were angry at each other. (plural past indicative)
      I wish I were more sure. (first-person singular past subjunctive; was is also common, though considered less correct by some)
      If she were here, she would know what to do. (third-person singular past subjunctive; was is also common, though considered less correct by some)
    • Being is the gerund and present participle, used in progressive aspectual forms, after various catenative verbs, and in other constructions that function like nouns, adjectivally or adverbially. (It’s also used as a deverbal noun and as a conjunction; see those senses in the entry for being itself.)
      Being in London and being in Tokyo have similar rewards but in different languages. (gerund in grammatical subject)
      All of a sudden, he’s being nice to everyone. (present participle in progressive aspect)
      His mood being good increased his productivity noticeably. (present participle in adjectival phrase)
      It won’t stop being a problem until someone does something about it. (gerund after catenative verb)
    • Been is the past participle, used in the perfect aspect. In Middle English, it was also the infinitive.
      It’s been that way for a week and a half.
  • In archaic or obsolete forms of English, with the pronoun thou, the verb be has a few additional forms:
    • When the pronoun thou was in regular use, the forms art, wast, and wert were the corresponding present indicative, past indicative, and past subjunctive, respectively.
    • As thou became less common and more highly marked, a special present-subjunctive form beest developed (replacing the regular present subjunctive form be, still used with all other subjects). Additionally, the form wert, previously a past subjunctive form, came to be used as a past indicative as well.
  • The forms am, is, and are can contract with preceding subjects: I’m (I am), ’s (is), ’re (are). The form are most commonly contracts with personal pronouns (we’re (we are), you’re (you are), they’re (they are)), but contractions with other subjects are possible; the form is contracts quite freely with a variety of subjects. These contracted forms, however, are possible only when there is an explicit, non-preposed complement, and they cannot be stressed; therefore, contraction does not occur in sentences such as the following:
    Who’s here? —I am.
    I wonder what it is.
    I don’t want to be involved. —But you are involved, regardless.
  • Several of the finite forms of be have special negative forms, containing the suffix -n’t, that can be used instead of adding the adverb not. Specifically, the forms is, are, was, and were have the negative forms isn’t, aren’t, wasn’t, and weren’t. The form be itself does not, even in finite uses, with “not be” being used in the present subjunctive and “do not be” or “don’t be” (or, in dated use, “be not”) being used in the imperative. The form am has the negative forms aren’t, amn’t, and ain’t, but all of these are in restricted use; see their entries for details.
  • Outside of Standard English, there is some variation in usage of some forms; some dialects, for example, use is or ’s throughout the present indicative (supplanting, in whole or in part, am and are), and/or was throughout the past indicative and past subjunctive (supplanting were).
Quotations[edit]
Alternative forms[edit]
Synonyms[edit]
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

A variant of by which goes back to Middle English be (variant of Middle English bi).

Pronunciation[edit]

Preposition[edit]

be

  1. (dialectal, possibly dated) Alternative form of by. Also found in compounds, especially oaths, e.g. begorra.
    • 1851, Oliver Ormerod, Felley fro Rachde:
      O ful tru un pertikler akeawnt o... th' greyt Eggshibishun. Be o felley fro Rachde.
    • 1860, Henry Baird, The Song of Solomon in the Devonshire Dialect, i 8:
      Go thy way vorth be tha vootsteps uv tha vlock.
    • 1870, Joseph Philip Robson, Evangeline: The Spirit of Progress, 332:
      Aw teuk me seat be day an' neet.
    • 1870, Roger Piketah, Forness Folk 44:
      Fetchin' it yan... be a round about rooad.
    • 1878, John Castillo, Poems in the North Yorkshire Dialect, 35:
      Like a leeaf be firm decree / Mun fade an' fall.
    • 1885, Alfred Lord Tennyson, To-morrow:
      ‘I'll meet you agin to-morra,’ says he, ‘be the chapel-door.’

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goold Brown (1851), “Of Verbs”, in The Grammar of English Grammars, [], New York, N.Y.: [] Samuel S. & William Wood, [], page 357.
  2. ^ [William Tyndale, transl.] (1526) The Newe Testamẽt [] (Tyndale Bible), [Worms, Germany: Peter Schöffer], OCLC 762018299, Romans xiij:[1], folio ccxiij, recto: “The powers that be / are ordeyned off God.”
  3. ^ The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], 1611, OCLC 964384981, Genesis 42:31–32, column 2: “We are true men; we are no ſpies. We be twelue brethren []”.
  4. ^ William Shakespeare (c. 1599–1602), “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene i], page 277, column 2: “I thinke it be thine indeed: for thou lieſt in’t.”
  5. 5.0 5.1 Joseph Wright, editor (1898), “BE”, in The English Dialect Dictionary: [], volume I (A–C), London: Henry Frowde, [], publisher to the English Dialect Society, []; New York, N.Y.: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, OCLC 81937840.

Anagrams[edit]


Albanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Albanian *bẹðə < *baidā, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰoydʰ-eh₂ < *bʰeydʰ- (to persuade).[1] Compare Old English bād (pledge, expectation), Proto-Slavic *bě̄dà, Ancient Greek πείθω (peíthō), Latin foedus.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

be f (indefinite plural be, definite singular beja, definite plural betë)

  1. oath
  2. vow, swearing

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schumacher, Stefan; Matzinger, Joachim (2013) Die Verben des Altalbanischen: Belegwörterbuch, Vorgeschichte und Etymologie (Albanische Forschungen; 33) (in German), Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, →ISBN, page 236

Balinese[edit]

Noun[edit]

be

  1. fish
  2. meat, fish, tofu, egg (everything that is eaten with rice except vegetables)

Basque[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

be inan

  1. The name of the Latin-script letter B.

Declension[edit]

Declension of be (inanimate, ending in vowel)
indefinite singular plural
absolutive be bea beak
ergative bek beak beek
dative beri beari beei
genitive beren bearen been
comitative berekin bearekin beekin
causative berengatik bearengatik beengatik
benefactive berentzat bearentzat beentzat
instrumental bez beaz beez
inessive betan bean beetan
locative betako beko beetako
allative betara bera beetara
terminative betaraino beraino beetaraino
directive betarantz berantz beetarantz
destinative betarako berako beetarako
ablative betatik betik beetatik
partitive berik
prolative betzat

See also[edit]


Blagar[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

be

  1. pig

References[edit]


Catalan[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

be f (plural bes)

  1. The name of the Latin-script letter B.
Usage notes[edit]

In some dialects of Catalan, the sounds associated with the letter b and the letter v are the same: [b ~ β]. In order to differentiate be and ve in those dialects, the letters are often called be alta (high B) and ve baixa (low V).

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Onomatopoeic from the sound of a lamb.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

be m (plural bens)

  1. sheep, ram, ewe, lamb; an individual of the species Ovis aries.

Dorasque[edit]

Noun[edit]

be

  1. (Changuena, Chumulu, Gualaca) night

References[edit]

  • Alphonse Louis Pinart, Vocabulario Castellano-dorasque, Dialectos Chumulu, Gualaca Y Changuina (1890)

Esperanto[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Onomatopoeic.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): [ˈbe]
  • Rhymes: -e
  • Hyphenation: '‧be

Interjection[edit]

be

  1. The characteristic cry of a sheep.

Derived terms[edit]


Faroese[edit]

Noun[edit]

be n (genitive singular bes, plural be)

  1. The name of the Latin-script letter B.

Declension[edit]

Declension of be
n4 singular plural
indefinite definite indefinite definite
nominative be beið be beini
accusative be beið be beini
dative be, bei benum beum beunum
genitive bes besins bea beanna

See also[edit]


Guerrero Amuzgo[edit]

Adjective[edit]

be

  1. red

Hungarian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

be (comparative beljebb, superlative legbeljebb)

  1. in (towards the interior of a defined space, such as a building or room)
    Antonym: ki

Usage notes[edit]

This term may also be part of the split form of a verb prefixed with be-, occurring when the main verb does not follow the prefix directly. It can be interpreted only with the related verb form, irrespective of its position in the sentence, e.g. meg tudták volna nézni (they could have seen it, from megnéz). For verbs with this prefix, see be-; for an overview, Appendix:Hungarian verbal prefixes.

Derived terms[edit]

Compound words

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • (adverb: “in”): be in Bárczi, Géza and László Országh. A magyar nyelv értelmező szótára (’The Explanatory Dictionary of the Hungarian Language’). Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1959–1962. Fifth ed., 1992: →ISBN
  • (interjection-like adverb: “how…!”; a dated, poetic synonym of de): be in Bárczi, Géza and László Országh. A magyar nyelv értelmező szótára (’The Explanatory Dictionary of the Hungarian Language’). Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1959–1962. Fifth ed., 1992: →ISBN
  • be in Ittzés, Nóra (ed.). A magyar nyelv nagyszótára (’A Comprehensive Dictionary of the Hungarian Language’). Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 2006–2031 (work in progress; published A–ez as of 2022)

Iau[edit]

Noun[edit]

be

  1. fire

Further reading[edit]

Bill Palmer, The Languages and Linguistics of the New Guinea Area (→ISBN, 2017), page 531, table 95, Comparative basic vocabulary in Lakes Plain Languages


Ido[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

be (plural be-i)

  1. The name of the Latin script letter B/b.

See also[edit]


Italian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

be f (invariable)

  1. (regional) Obsolete form of bi

References[edit]

  1. ^ be in Luciano Canepari, Dizionario di Pronuncia Italiana (DiPI)
  • be in Treccani.it – Vocabolario Treccani on line, Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana

Japanese[edit]

Romanization[edit]

be

  1. Rōmaji transcription of (hiragana)
  2. Rōmaji transcription of (katakana)

Karajá[edit]

Noun[edit]

be

  1. water

References[edit]

  • David Lee Fortune, Gramática Karajá: um Estudo Preliminar em Forma Transformacional

Latin[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

 f (indeclinable)

  1. The name of the letter B.

Coordinate terms[edit]

References[edit]

  • Arthur E. Gordon, The Letter Names of the Latin Alphabet (University of California Press, 1973; volume 9 of University of California Publications: Classical Studies), part III: “Summary of the Ancient Evidence”, page 32: "Clearly there is no question or doubt about the names of the vowels A, E, I, O, U. They are simply long A, long E, etc. (ā, ē, ī, ō, ū). Nor is there any uncertainty with respect to the six mutes B, C, D, G, P, T. Their names are bē, cē, dē, gē, pē, tē (each with a long E). Or about H, K, and Q: they are hā, kā, kū—each, again, with a long vowel sound."

Lithuanian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Preposition[edit]

be (with genitive)

  1. (shows absence of something) without
  2. besides; but, except

Antonyms[edit]


Malagasy[edit]

Adjective[edit]

be

  1. big; great
    Antonym: kely
  2. many; numerous

Middle English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old English bēon.

Verb[edit]

be

  1. Alternative form of been

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old English bēo.

Noun[edit]

be

  1. Alternative form of bee

Etymology 3[edit]

From Old English bēo, bēom, first-person singular of bēon, from Proto-Germanic *biumi, first-person singular of *beuną,

Verb[edit]

be

  1. first-person singular present indicative of been
Usage notes[edit]
  • Less common than am.

Etymology 4[edit]

From Old English bēo, singular subjunctive of bēon.

Verb[edit]

be

  1. singular present subjunctive of been
Descendants[edit]
  • English: be
  • Scots: be

Etymology 5[edit]

From Old English bēo, 2nd-person singular imperative of bēon, from Proto-Germanic *beu, 2nd-person singular imperative of *beuną.

Verb[edit]

be

  1. singular imperative of been
Descendants[edit]
  • English: be
  • Scots: be

Etymology 6[edit]

Old English bēoþ (with the replaced with an -n levelled in from the past and subjunctive, then lost), present plural of bēon (to be), from Proto-Germanic *biunþi, third-person present plural of *beuną (to be, become).

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

be

  1. plural present of been
Usage notes[edit]

The usual plural form of been is aren in the North, been in the Midlands, and beth in the South; sind also existed, especially early on, but was not the predominant form in any area.

Descendants[edit]
  • English: be (obsolete or dialectal as the plural)
  • Scots: be

Mòcheno[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle High German wec, from Old High German weg, from Proto-West Germanic *weg, from Proto-Germanic *wegaz (way, path). Cognate with German Weg, English way.

Noun[edit]

be m

  1. path, way

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]


Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse biðja

Verb[edit]

be (imperative be, present tense ber, passive bes, simple past ba or bad, past participle bedt, present participle beende)

  1. to pray
  2. to ask something of someone

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

References[edit]

  • “be” in The Bokmål Dictionary.
  • be” in The Ordnett Dictionary

Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse biðja. Akin to English bid.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

be (present tense ber, past tense bad, supine bede or bedd or bedt, past participle beden or bedd, present participle bedande, imperative be)

  1. to pray
  2. to ask something of someone

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

References[edit]

  • “be” in The Nynorsk Dictionary.
  • be” in The Ordnett Dictionary

Occitan[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Noun[edit]

be f (plural bes)

  1. bee (the letter b)

Old English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *bi.

Pronunciation[edit]

Preposition[edit]

be

  1. about (concerning)
  2. by, in various senses:
    1. near or next to
    2. not later than
    3. based on, according to

See also[edit]


Old Irish[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • (2nd sg. pres. subj.): ba

Verb[edit]

be

  1. second-person singular present subjunctive of is
  2. first/second-person singular future of is

Old Prussian[edit]

Conjunction[edit]

be

  1. and
    wāiklis be mērgā - a boy and a girl

Preposition[edit]

be

  1. without

Phalura[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Sanskrit वयम् (vayam, we).

Pronunciation[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

be (personal, Perso-Arabic spelling بےۡ)

  1. we (1pl nom)

References[edit]

  • Liljegren, Henrik; Haider, Naseem (2011) Palula Vocabulary (FLI Language and Culture Series; 7)‎[1], Islamabad, Pakistan: Forum for Language Initiatives, →ISBN
  • Turner, Ralph Lilley (1969–1985), “be”, in A Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages, London: Oxford University Press

Polish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From the phonetic pronunciation of the letter B/b.

Noun[edit]

be n (indeclinable)

  1. The name of the Latin-script letter B.

Etymology 2[edit]

Onomatopoeic.

Adjective[edit]

be (comparative bardziej be, superlative najbardziej be, adverb be)

  1. (childish) icky, yucky
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:zły

Adverb[edit]

be (comparative bardziej be, superlative najbardziej be)

  1. (childish) icky, yucky

Interjection[edit]

be

  1. (colloquial) Used with children to tell them not to touch something, bad! no touchy!
  2. (onomatopoeia) Used to imitate the sound of a sheep or ram, baa
    Synonym: me

Derived terms[edit]

adjective
interjection
nouns
verbs

Further reading[edit]

  • be in Wielki słownik języka polskiego, Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN
  • be in Polish dictionaries at PWN

Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Onomatopoeic.

Interjection[edit]

be

  1. baa (sound made by sheep or goats)

Savi[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Sanskrit वयम् (vayam).

Pronoun[edit]

be

  1. we; first-person plural personal pronoun

References[edit]

  • Nina Knobloch (2020) A grammar sketch of Sauji: An Indo-Aryan language of Afghanistan[2], Stockholm University

Scots[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English been, from Old English bēon. The various forms have different further etymologies:

Cognates include English be.

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

be

  1. to be
Conjugation[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Pronunciation[edit]

Conjunction[edit]

be

  1. Alternative form of by

References[edit]

  1. ^ be, v..” in the Dictionary of the Scots Language, Edinburgh: Scottish Language Dictionaries.
  2. ^ by, prep., adv., conj..” in the Dictionary of the Scots Language, Edinburgh: Scottish Language Dictionaries.

Serili[edit]

Noun[edit]

be

  1. water

References[edit]

  • Roger Blench, The Enggano (in notes)
  • ABVD (as 'bɛ)
  • ASJP (as bE, representing bɛ)

Slovene[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Probably from the German name of the letter B (pronounced [beː]).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

bẹ̑ m inan

  1. The name of the Latin-script letter B.

Inflection[edit]

Masculine inan., soft o-stem
nom. sing.
gen. sing. bêja
singular dual plural
nominative bêja bêji
accusative bêja bêje
genitive bêja bêjev bêjev
dative bêju bêjema bêjem
locative bêju bêjih bêjih
instrumental bêjem bêjema bêji

Synonyms[edit]


Sotho[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Bantu *-bɪ́ɪ̀.

Adjective[edit]

be

  1. bad

Spanish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Noun[edit]

be f (plural bes)

  1. The name of the Latin-script letter B.
    Synonyms: be larga, be alta, be grande, be de burro
    Coordinate terms: uve, ve corta, ve baja, ve chica, ve de vaca

Etymology 2[edit]

Echoic.

Noun[edit]

be m (plural bes)

  1. baa (bleating of a sheep)

Further reading[edit]


Sumerian[edit]

Romanization[edit]

be

  1. Romanization of 𒁁 (be)

Swedish[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From older bedja, from Old Swedish biþia, from Old Norse biðja, from Proto-Germanic *bidjaną, from Proto-Indo-European *gʷʰedʰ-. Cognate with Danish bede, Icelandic biðja, English bid, Dutch bidden, German bitten.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

be (present ber, preterite bad, supine bett, imperative be)

  1. to ask for, request someone else to do something
  2. to pray
  3. to beg, to plead with someone for help or for a favor

Conjugation[edit]

Related terms[edit]


Tarao[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

be

  1. bean, beans

References[edit]

  • 2002, Chungkham Yashwanta Singh, Tarao Grammar

Turkish[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

be

  1. The name of the Latin-script letter B.

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Arabic بَاء(bāʾ).

Noun[edit]

be

  1. Letter of the Arabic alphabet: ب

Etymology 3[edit]

From Ottoman Turkish به(be).

Interjection[edit]

be

  1. (very informal) hey there, hey! you! (implying disapproval of the addressee’s actions)
  2. strengthening of the preceding sentence
    Bu yük çok ağır be!My, this load is very heavy

References[edit]


Tzotzil[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (Zinacantán) IPA(key): /ɓɛ/

Noun[edit]

be

  1. road, path, way

References[edit]


Vietnamese[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Noun[edit]

be

  1. wine flask
    Rượu ngon chẳng quản be sành.
    Good wine does not mind a terracotta flask.

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from French beige.

Adjective[edit]

be

  1. beige
    chiếc áo mưa màu be — a beige raincoat

Etymology 3[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Verb[edit]

be

  1. To build a mud embankment with one's hands.
  2. To prop up the lip of a sack while topping off the sack, to ensure a more generous quantity.
    lấy tay be miệng đấu khi đong đỗ — to surround the top of a measure with one's hands while measuring beans
    Đong bình thường, không được be đâu đấy. — Measure it out normally; don't prop up the lip of the sack.

Etymology 4[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Verb[edit]

be

  1. To hug a boundary or riverbank.
    Thuyền be theo bờ sông.
    The boat hugged the riverbank.

Etymology 5[edit]

Onomatopoeic

Interjection[edit]

be (𠻻, 𠾦)

  1. (onomatopoeia) bleat; baa
Related terms[edit]

References[edit]

"be" in Hồ Ngọc Đức, Free Vietnamese Dictionary Project (details)


West Makian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

be

  1. water

References[edit]

  • Clemens Voorhoeve (1982) The Makian languages and their neighbours[3], Pacific linguistics

Yola[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Verb[edit]

be

  1. Alternative form of ba (to be)
    • 1867, SONGS, ETC. IN THE DIALECT OF FORTH AND BARGY:
      Well, gosp, c'hull be zeid.
      Well, gossip, it shall be told.

Etymology 2[edit]

Preposition[edit]

be

  1. Alternative form of bee (by)
    • 1867, SONGS, ETC. IN THE DIALECT OF FORTH AND BARGY:
      be mee coshes.
      by my conscience.

References[edit]

  • 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 84 & 90

Zia[edit]

Noun[edit]

be

  1. mouth

Zou[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

  1. bean

References[edit]

  • Lukram Himmat Singh (2013) A Descriptive Grammar of Zou, Canchipur: Manipur University, page 40

Zulu[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From -ba (to be).

Pronunciation[edit]

IPA(key): /ɓe/

Verb[edit]

-be

  1. (auxiliary) forms continuous tenses [+participial]
    Ngesonto elilandelayo ngizobe ngisebenza kakhulu.
    Next week I will be working a lot.

Inflection[edit]

This entry needs an inflection-table template.

Usage notes[edit]

In past tenses, this auxiliary is usually contracted.

Ngibe ngihambaBengihamba "I was walking." (recent past)

Ngabe ngihambaNgangihamba "I was walking." (remote past)

References[edit]

C. M. Doke; B. W. Vilakazi (1972), “-ɓe”, in Zulu-English Dictionary, →ISBN: “-ɓe