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Originated 1250–1300 from Middle English being; see be + -ing.




  1. present participle of be


being (plural beings)

  1. A living creature.
  2. The state or fact of existence, consciousness, or life, or something in such a state.
    • Shakespeare
      Claudius, thou / Wast follower of his fortunes in his being.
  3. (philosophy) That which has actuality (materially or in concept).
  4. (philosophy) One's basic nature, or the qualities thereof; essence or personality.
  5. (obsolete) An abode; a cottage.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Wright to this entry?)
    • Steele
      It was a relief to dismiss them [Sir Roger's servants] into little beings within my manor.

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  1. (obsolete) Given that; since.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: What It Is. With All the Kindes, Cavses, Symptomes, Prognosticks, and Seuerall Cvres of It. In Three Maine Partitions, with Their Seuerall Sections, Members, and Svbsections. Philosophically, Medicinally, Historically Opened and Cut Up, by Democritvs Iunior, with a Satyricall Preface, Conducing to the Following Discourse, 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):
      , New York Review Books 2001, p.280:
      ’Tis a hard matter therefore to confine them, being they are so various and many […].

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