Children's, Intermediate and Advanced Online English Dictionary & Thesaurus

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parts of speech:
intransitive verb, auxiliary verb
Homophone Note
part of speech: intransitive verb
inflections: is, was, being, am, are, been, were
definition 1: to remain in a state of existence; have reality; exist.
There was a railroad here at one time.
similar words:
dwell, exist
definition 2: to take place or happen.
The game is today.
similar words:
dwell, occur
definition 3: to occupy a certain place or position.
He was here yesterday, but I haven't seen him today.The cat is up in the tree, and she won't come down.
similar words:
dwell, stand
definition 4: (in constructions linking a subject and predicate) to equal or to possess the characteristic or quality of.
She is a doctor.The boy is ten years old.She has always been thin.
similar words:
definition 5: used to introduce a command to act in a specified way, take on a specified characteristic, or to become a specified thing or person.
Be quiet.Be more sympathetic!Be a good dog and lie down now.Be a gentleman and open the door for your grandmother.
definition 6: used to indicate that something is or was strongly expected, requested, or due to happen, especially because arranged or scheduled (followed by an infinitive).
The flight is to arrive at 9:15.I am to drop off this package and return immediately.We are all to meet in the conference room in a half hour.I was to see her the next day, but I became ill and had to cancel.There was to be a dance here on Friday, but it was canceled.
definition 7: used to indicate an order, command, or instruction (followed by an infinitive).
You are to wait here until I call you.
part of speech: auxiliary verb
inflections: is, was, being, am, are, been, were
definition 1: used with the present participle of another verb to indicate continuing action.
We are leaving.
definition 2: used with the present participle or infinitive of another verb to indicate intended or required action.
They are seeing me tomorrow.He is to go straight home.She was to report back to the commander, but she didn't make it.
definition 3: used with the past participle of another verb to form a passive construction.
On the subway, we were pushed and shoved.
Homophone Note
Are you looking for the word bee (a flying insect)? Be and bee sound alike but have different meanings.