Be-. A prefix, originally the same word as by; joined with verbs, it serves: (a) To intensify the meaning; as, bespatter, bestir. (b) To render an intransitive verb transitive; as, befall (to fall upon); bespeak (to speak for). (c) To make the action of a verb particular or definite; as, beget (to get as offspring); beset (to set around).
Note: It is joined with certain substantives, and a few adjectives, to form verbs; as, bedew, befriend, benight, besot; belate (to make late); belittle (to make little). It also occurs in certain nouns, adverbs, and prepositions, often with something of the force of the preposition by, or about; as, belief (believe), behalf, bequest (bequeath); because, before, beneath, beside, between.
In some words the original force of be is obscured or lost; as, in become, begin, behave, behoove, belong.
n : a light strong brittle gray toxic bivalent metallic element
[syn: beryllium, glucinium, atomic number 4]
v 1: have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective
or a predicate noun); "John is rich"; "This is not a
2: be identical to; be someone or something; "The president of
the company is John Smith"; "This is my house"
3: occupy a certain position or area; be somewhere; "Where is
my umbrella?" "The toolshed is in the back"; "What is
behind this behavior?"
4: have an existence, be extant; "Is there a God?" [syn: exist]
5: happen, occur, take place; "I lost my wallet; this was
during the visit to my parents' house"; "There were two
hundred people at his funeral"; "There was a lot of noise
in the kitchen"
6: be identical or equivalent to; "One dollar equals 1,000
rubles these days!" [syn: equal] [ant: differ]
7: form or compose; "This money is my only income"; "The stone
wall was the backdrop for the performance"; "These
constitute my entire belonging"; "The children made up the
chorus"; "This sum represents my entire income for a
year"; "These few men comprise his entire army" [syn: constitute,
represent, make up, comprise]
8: work in a specific place, with a specific subject, or in a
specific function; "He is a herpetologist"; "She is our
resident philosopher" [syn: follow]
9: represent, as of a character on stage; "Derek Jacobi was
Hamlet" [syn: embody, personify]
10: spend or use time; "I may be an hour"
11: have life, be alive; "Our great leader is no more"; "My
grandfather lived until the end of war" [syn: live]
12: to remain unmolested, undisturbed, or uninterrupted -- used
only in infinitive form; "let her be"
13: be priced at; "These shoes cost $100" [syn: cost]