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Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
be /biː; (unstressed) bɪ/ vb ( pres. sing. 1st pers am, 2nd pers are, 3rd pers is, pres. pl are, past sing 1st pers was, 2nd pers were, 3rd pers was, past pl were, pres. part being, past part been)(intransitive)
Etymology: Old English bēon; related to Old High German bim am, Latin fui I have been, Greek phuein to bring forth, Sanskrit bhavati he is
- to have presence in the realm of perceived reality; exist; live: I think, therefore I am, not all that is can be understood
- (used in the perfect or past perfect tenses only) to pay a visit; go: have you been to Spain?
- to take place; occur: my birthday was last Thursday
- (copula) used as a linking verb between the subject of a sentence and its noun or adjective complement or complementing phrase. In this case be expresses the relationship of either essential or incidental equivalence or identity (John is a man; John is a musician) or specifies an essential or incidental attribute (honey is sweet; Susan is angry). It is also used with an adverbial complement to indicate a relationship of location in space or time (Bill is at the office; the dance is on Saturday)
- (takes a present participle) forms the progressive present tense: the man is running
- (takes a past participle) forms the passive voice of all transitive verbs and (archaically) certain intransitive ones: a good film is being shown on television tonight, I am done
- (takes an infinitive) expresses intention, expectation, supposition, or obligation: the president is to arrive at 9.30, you are not to leave before I say so
BE abbreviation for
- bill of exchange
- Bachelor of Education
- Bachelor of Engineering
Be the chemical symbol for
be- prefix forming verbs and verbal derivatives
Etymology: Old English be-, bi-, unstressed variant of bī by
- (from nouns) to surround completely; cover on all sides: befog
- (from nouns) to affect completely or excessively: bedazzle
- (from nouns) to consider as or cause to be: befool, befriend
- (from nouns) to provide or cover with: bejewel
- (from verbs) at, for, against, on, or over: bewail, berate
beryllium /bɛˈrɪlɪəm/ n
Etymology: 19th Century: from Latin bēryllus, from Greek bērullos
- a corrosion-resistant toxic silvery-white metallic element that occurs chiefly in beryl and is used mainly in X-ray windows and in the manufacture of alloys. Symbol: Be; atomic no: 4; atomic wt: 9.012; valency: 2; relative density: 1.848; melting pt: 1289°C; boiling pt: 2472°C