meaning of be-

be- meaning in Etymology Dictionary

word-forming factor with an array of definition: "completely, totally; in order to make, trigger appear; to offer with; at, on, to, for," from Old English be- "on all sides" (also familiar with make transitive verbs and as a privative or intensive prefix), from weak as a type of Old English bi "by," probably cognate with 2nd syllable of Greek amphi, Latin ambi and initially indicating "about" (see ambi-). This feeling naturally drifted into intensive (as with bespatter "spatter about," consequently "spatter greatly"). Be- can be privative (as with behead), causative, or have almost any good sense needed. The prefix ended up being productive 16c.-17c. in forming of good use words, many of which have never survived, such as for instance bethwack "to thrash soundly" (1550s), betongue "to assail in message, to scold" (1630s).


be- meaning in General Dictionary

A prefix, originally equivalent word as by;

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  • To intensify the meaning; because, bespatter, bestir.
  • To render an intransitive verb transitive; because, befall (to-fall upon); bespeak (to talk for).
  • to really make the action of a verb specific or definite; since, beget (getting as offspring); beset (to set around).

be- meaning in General Dictionary

A prefix, initially exactly the same term as by;

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  • To intensify this is; as, bespatter, bestir.
  • To render an intransitive verb transitive; since, befall (to-fall upon); bespeak (to speak for).
  • To make the activity of a verb specific or definite; as, beget (to have as offspring); beset (to set around).

Sentence Examples with the word be-

Not only does exposure to heat sufficient to coagulate protein matter destroy life, by demolishing Life con- the molecular structure upon which life depends; but ditioned all vital activity, all phenomena of nutritive growth, by tern' movement and reproduction are possible only be- perature.

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