- any hymenopterous insect of the superfamily Apoidea, which includes social forms such as the honeybee and solitary forms such as the carpenter bee
- busy bee ⇒ a person who is industrious or has many things to do
- have a bee in one's bonnet ⇒ to be preoccupied or obsessed with an idea
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
- Insectsan insect known for its sting and for making honey.
- a social gathering to perform some task, etc.:a quilting bee.
- Idiomshave a bee in one's bonnet, to be continually thinking or talking about a single idea:got something of a bee in his bonnet about deregulation.
- Insectsany hymenopterous insect of the superfamily Apoidea, including social and solitary species of several families, as the bumblebees, honeybees, etc.
- Insectsthe common honeybee, Apis mellifera.
- a community social gathering in order to perform some task, engage in a contest, etc.:a sewing bee;a spelling bee;a husking bee.
- Idiomshave a bee in one's bonnet:
- to be obsessed with one idea.
- to have eccentric or fanciful ideas or schemes:Our aunt obviously has a bee in her bonnet, but we're very fond of her.
- Idioms, Informal Termsput the bee on, [Informal.]to try to obtain money from, as for a loan or donation:My brother just put the bee on me for another $10.
- Idioms, Slang Termsthe bee's knees, [Older Slang.](esp. in the 1920s) a person or thing that is wonderful, great, or marvelous:Her new roadster is simply the bee's knees.
- bef. 1000; Middle English be(e); Old English bīo, bēo; cognate with Dutch bij, Old Saxon bī, bini, Old High German bīa, bini (German Biene), Old Norse bȳ; with other suffixes, Lithuanian bìtė, Old Prussian bitte, Old Church Slavonic bĭchela, Old Irish bech; *bhi- is a North European stem with the same distribution as wax1, apple; put the bee on probably an allusion to sting in sense "dupe, cheat''
bee2 (bē),USA pronunciation n.
- Nautical, Naval TermsAlso called bee block. a piece of hardwood, bolted to the side of a bowsprit, through which to reeve stays.
- [Obs.]a metal ring or bracelet.
- bef. 1050; Middle English beh ring, Old English bēag, bēah; cognate with Old Frisian bāg, Old Saxon, Middle Low German bōg, Old High German boug, Old Norse baugr, Sanskrit bhoga-; akin to bow1
- a social gathering for a specific purpose, as to carry out a communal task or hold competitions: quilting bee