be


be

word-forming element with a wide range of meaning: “thoroughly, completely; to make, cause seem; to provide with; at, on, to, for,” from Old English be- “on all sides” (also used to make transitive verbs and as a privative or intensive prefix), from weak form of Old English bi “by,” probably cognate with second syllable of Greek amphi, Latin ambi and originally meaning “about” (see ambi-).

This sense naturally drifted into intensive (cf. bespatter “spatter about,” therefore “spatter very much”). Be- can also be privative (cf. behead), causative, or have just about any sense required. The prefix was productive 16c.-17c. in forming useful words, many of which have not survived, e.g. bethwack “to thrash soundly” (1550s), betongue “to assail in speech, to scold” (1630s).

  1. The symbol for the elementberyllium

  1. The symbol for beryllium.

Be

  1. A hard, lightweight, steel-gray metallic element of the alkaline-earth group, found in various minerals, especially beryl. It has a high melting point and is corrosion-resistant. Beryllium is used to make sturdy, lightweight alloys and aerospace structural materials. It is also used as a neutron moderator in nuclear reactors. Atomic number 4; atomic weight 9.0122; melting point 1,278°C; boiling point 2,970°C; specific gravity 1.848; valence 2. See Periodic Table.

In addition to the idioms beginning with be

  • be a credit to
  • be along
  • be big on
  • be bound to
  • be busted
  • bed and board
  • bed and breakfast
  • bed of roses
  • be down
  • bee in one’s bonnet
  • been around
  • been had
  • been there, done that
  • been to the wars
  • beginning of the end, the
  • begin to see daylight
  • begin to see the light
  • begin with
  • beg off
  • beg the question
  • beg to differ
  • be had
  • be in on
  • be into
  • bell the cat, who will
  • be my guest
  • bend one’s elbow
  • bend over backwards
  • bend someone’s ear
  • be off
  • be on
  • be oneself
  • be on to
  • beside oneself
  • beside the point
  • be that as it may
  • be the death of
  • be the end of one
  • be the making of

also see:

  • let be

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