Definition of "be" [be]

  • To exist in actuality; have life or reality: I think, therefore I am. (verb-intransitive)
  • To occupy a specified position: The food is on the table. (verb-intransitive)
  • To remain in a certain state or situation undisturbed, untouched, or unmolested: Let the children be. (verb-intransitive)
  • To take place; occur: The test was yesterday. (verb-intransitive)
  • To go or come: Have you ever been to Italy? Have you been home recently? (verb-intransitive)
  • To have presence in the realm of perceived reality; exist; live (verb)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • To pay a visit; go (verb)
  • To take place; occur (verb)
  • 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) (verb)
  • Forms the progressive present tense (verb)
  • Forms the passive voice of all transitive verbs and (archaically) certain intransitive ones (verb)
  • Expresses intention, expectation, supposition, or obligation (verb)
  • Forms the perfect or past perfect tense of certain intransitive verbs of motion, such as go or come (verb)

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Use "be" in a sentence
  • "Early on, I decided that if I had to be a Stockard, then I damn well would _be_ a Stockard."
  • "Interestingly, she appears to be taking self-promotion lessons from the shy and retiring Joe Abercrombie and it must be said, what better role model can there be*?"
  • "“Bad Lieutenant” ***Superbly acted by Cage proving he can be the man when he wants to be***"