Language: Old English
Origin: beon


2 verb
be2 S1 W1
1 [linking verb] used to say that someone or something is the same as the subject of the sentence:
My name is Susan.
These are my favourite pictures.
He's my brother.
The problem is finding the time to get things done.
Our aim was to reduce the number of accidents.
2 [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] used to say where something or someone is:
Jane's upstairs.
Are my keys in the drawer?
The principal's in his office.
How long has she been here?
3 [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] used to say when something happens:
The concert was last night.
The party is on Saturday.
4 [linking verb] used to describe someone or something, or say what group or type they belong to:
The sky was grey.
Spiders are not really insects.
Mr Cardew was a tall thin man.
She wants to be a doctor when she leaves school.
Her dress was pure silk.
I'm not ready yet.

there is/are

used to say that something exists or happens:
There's a hole in your trousers.
There was a loud explosion.
'I thought there was going to be a party.' 'No, there isn't.'
Is there a problem?
6 [linking verb] to behave in a particular way:
He was just being rude.
Don't be silly.
You'd better be careful.
7 [linking verb] used to say how old someone is:
His mother died when he was twenty.
Rachel will be three in November.
8 [linking verb] used to say who something belongs to:
Whose is this bag? It isn't mine and it isn't Sarah's.
9 [linking verb] used to talk about the price of something:
'How much are the melons?' 'The big ones are £2 each.'
10 [linking verb] to be equal to a particular number or amount:
32 divided by 8 is 4.

be that as it may

formal used to say that even though you accept that something is true, it does not change a situation:
'He was only joking.' 'Be that as it may, silly remarks like that can do a lot of harm.'
12 [intransitive] formal to exist:
What was once a great and powerful empire has effectively ceased to be.

be yourself

to behave in a natural way, rather than trying to pretend to be different:
Don't try too hard - just be yourself.

not be yourself

to be behaving in a way that is unusual for you, especially because you are ill or upset:
Sorry - I'm not myself this morning.

the be-all and end-all

the most important part of a situation or of someone's life
the be-all and end-all of
For Jim, making money was the be-all and end-all of his job.

Dictionary results for "be"
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