be-

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English be-, bi-, from Old English be- ‎(be-), from Proto-Germanic *bi- ‎(be-), from Proto-Germanic *bi ‎(near, by), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₁epi ‎(at, near). See by.

Cognate with Dutch be- ‎(be-), German be- ‎(be-), Swedish be- ‎(be-). More at by.

Pronunciation[edit]

Prefix[edit]

be-

  1. (rare or no longer productive) By, near, next to, around, close to.
    beleaguer, bestand, beset, besit
  2. (rare or no longer productive) Around; about.
    begather, belay, belook, bestir, belive, besmell, bewrap
  3. (rare or no longer productive) About, regarding, concerning, over.
    bewrite, betalk, betell, bemoan, bemourn, bewail, beknow, besing, bespeak
  4. (rare or no longer productive) On, upon, at, to, in contact with something.
    beclothe, becall, besee, behold, befall, bedo, beshine, besmile, betone
  5. (rare or no longer productive) Off, away, over, across
    becut, bedeal, betake, bego, behead, belimb, beland, benim, bereave, besleeve, betrunk
  6. (rare or no longer productive) As an intensifier; i.e. thoroughly, excessively; completely; utterly.
    bebreak, begladden, belabour, behate, bedazzle
  7. (rare or no longer productive) All around; about; abundantly; all over.
    belave, belick, bescatter, bekiss
  8. (rare or no longer productive) Forming verbs derived from nouns or adjectives, usually with the sense of "to make, become, or cause to be".
    becalm, bedark, befree, befriend, bedim, beken, benight, benothing, bewet, besmooth, bestrange
  9. (archaic or informal) Used to intensify adjectives meaning "adorned with something" often those with the suffix -ed.
    besequined, befeathered, beclawed, bewebbed, betasseled, beloved

Derived terms[edit]


References[edit]

  • the NED and OED

Danish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Low German be-.

Prefix[edit]

be-

  1. Forms adjectives from nouns, with the sense "having noun".
    hår ("hair") → behåret ("hairy")
    hjerte ("heart") → behjertet ("hearty, brave")
  2. Forms verbs from adjectives, with the sense "making adjective".
    svanger ("pregnant") → besvangre ("impregnate")
    rolig ("calm") → berolige ("calm, soothe")
  3. Prepends to verbs, having no effect save making the verb transitive
    tvivlebetvivle ("doubt")
    kæmpebekæmpe ("fight")

Usage notes[edit]

Verbs formed with be- are transitive. Many such words are formed after Middle Low German words.

Derived terms[edit]


References[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Prefix[edit]

be- Non-separable

  1. Used to indicate that a verb is acting on a direct object (making the verb transitive). Always unstressed.

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]



German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old High German bi-, from Proto-Germanic *bi-, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁epi.

Pronunciation[edit]

Prefix[edit]

be-

  1. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies working on something or change of state.
  2. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies touching the object.
  3. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies discussing or mentioning the object.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Verbs with this prefix very often take a "direct object (i.e., an object in the accusative case).

Derived terms[edit]


Hungarian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Prefix[edit]

be-

  1. (verbal prefix) in. It indicates actions with inward direction.
    megy ‎(to go) → bemegy ‎(to go in to)

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]

References[edit]


Limburgish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Germanic

Pronunciation[edit]

Prefix[edit]

be-

  1. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies working on something or change of state.
  2. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies touching the object.
  3. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies discussing or mentioning the object.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The verb with this prefix takes very often a direct object (i.e., an object in the accusative case).

Luxembourgish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old High German bi-, from Proto-Germanic *bi-, from *bi.

Pronunciation[edit]

Prefix[edit]

be-

  1. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies working on something or change of state.
  2. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies touching the object.
  3. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies discussing or mentioning the object.

Usage notes[edit]

Derived terms[edit]



Middle Dutch[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Dutch bi-, be-, from Proto-Germanic *bi-.

Prefix[edit]

be-

  1. A verb prefix with a variety of meanings.

Derived terms[edit]


Descendants[edit]


Middle Low German[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Saxon bi-, from Proto-Germanic *bi-. Cognate to ‎(by).

Prefix[edit]

be-

  1. Makes an intransitive verb transitive or denotes that the action is targeted at something or accompanying something.
    vallen (to fall) → bevallen (befall, afflict)
    singen (to sing) → besingen (to sing about something; to sing for the merit of something)
    bischop besingen – to ordain someone as bishop while chanting
  2. Denotes on top, onto, often used to create figurative meanings.
    sitten (to sit) → besitten (to sit on top of; to own; to climb onto something; to acquire)
  3. Denotes next to, very close.
    bûwen (to build) → bebûwen (to build too close to something else; to siege)

Alternative forms[edit]


Navajo[edit]

Prefix[edit]

be-

  1. his, her (indicates secondary or alienable possession, in opposition to bi-. See for example akʼah, beʼakʼah)

See also[edit]


Old English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

An unstressed form of , from Proto-Germanic *bi-.

Pronunciation[edit]

Prefix[edit]

be-

  1. A productive prefix usually used to form verbs and adjectives, especially:
    verbs with the sense "around, throughout",
    transitive verbs from intransitive verbs, adjectives and nouns.

Old Saxon[edit]

Prefix[edit]

be-

  1. Alternative form of bi-

Swedish[edit]

Prefix[edit]

be-

  1. same as German be-, often found in German loan-words, primarily verbs and words based on verbs

Usage notes[edit]

In many cases the be- prefix doesn't change the meaning at all, it only makes word look more German. Swedish linguists in the late 19th century (Adolf Noreen, later also Erik Wellander) successfully promoted the idea that this prefix should be dropped from such words, for example befrämja turned into främja.

Derived terms[edit]



Volapük[edit]

Prefix[edit]

be-

  1. Used to make an indirect object a direct object.
  2. Strengthens the meaning of the radical.
  3. Implies causing or conferring the meaning of the radical.

Derived terms[edit]



Zulu[edit]

Prefix[edit]

be- ‎(basic noun prefix)

  1. Basic (augmentless) form of abe-