- be ► VERB (sing. present am; are; is; pl. present are; 1st and 3rd sing. past was; 2nd sing. past and pl. past were; present subjunctive be; past subjunctive were; present part. being; past part. been) 1) (usu. there is/are) exist; be present. 2) occur; take place. 3) have the specified state, nature, or role. 4) come; go; visit.► AUXILIARY VERB 1) used with a present participle to form continuous tenses. 2) used with a past participle to form the passive voice. 3) used to indicate something that is due to, may, or should happen.● the be-all and end-all — Cf. ↑the be-all and end-all● -to-be — Cf. ↑-to-beORIGIN Old English: an irregular verb whose full conjugation derives from several originally distinct verbs.
English terms dictionary. 2015.