Definition of be
What does the word be mean?
part of speech: verb
(pres. ind., am, art, is, pl. are; past ind., was Provencal woz, wast or wert, was, pl. were Provencal war& wer; pres. subj., be; past subj., were, exc. 2 sing. wert; imperat., be; part., being; p.p., been Provencal ben. Isn\'t, wasn\'t, aren\'t pl., weren\'t, are legitimate in actual or printed talk; ain\'t, an\'t, for am not is sometimes held vulgar; ain\'t for is not, are not, is wrong). (1) Vb subst.: Exist, occur, live, (often with there; God is, there is a God; for the time being, temporarily); remain, continue, (let it be, do not be long); (with advv. or adv. phrr.) occupy such a position, experience such a condition, have gone to such a place, busy oneself so, hold such a view, be bound for such a place, (is in the garden, has been to Rome, be off, how is he?, what are you at?, I am for tariff reform, for London); (with dat.) befall (woe is me). (2) Vb cop.: (with nouns, adjj., or adj. phrr.) belong under such a description (I am a man, sick, of good courage); coincide in identity with, amount to, cost, signify, (thou art the man, twice two is four, it is nothing to me, what are these pears?). (3) Vb aux.: With p.p. of trans. vbs forming passives (this was done); with p.p. of some intr. vbs, as fall, come, grow, forming perfects (the sun is set, Babylon is fallen); with pres. part. act. forming continuous tenses act. & pass. (he is building a house, the house was building); with pres. part. pass. forming continuous tenses pass. (the house was being built); with infin. expressing duty, intention, possibility, (I am to inform you, he is to be there, the house is to let, he is to be hanged, it was not to be found); were with infin. in hypotheses (if I were, or were I, to tell you). (4) Parts used as adjj., advv., nouns: may-be, perhaps, a possibility; the to-be, the future; might-have-beens, past possibilities; would-be, that yearns, or fancies himself, to be; be-all, whole being, essence. [Greek]
part of speech: noun
to be or not to be (Haml. III. i. 56; often facet. in trivial applications); been, (often) called here, paid a visit, (has any one been?; the butcher has never been for orders); been and, colloq. expletive expr. protest or surprise (someone has been and moved my papers; I have been and won a prize!; cf. GO).