Be-
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Be-

English

Etymology

From Middle English be-, bi-, from Old English be- ("be-"), from Proto-Germanic *bi- ("be-"), from Proto-Germanic *bi ("near, by"), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h?epi ("at, near"). See by.

Cognate with Saterland Frisian be- ("be-"), West Frisian be- ("be-"), Dutch be- ("be-"), German Low German be- ("be-"), German be- ("be-"), Swedish be- ("be-"). More at by.

Pronunciation

Prefix

be-

  1. (rare or no longer productive) By, near, next to, around, close to.
    beleaguer, bestand, beset, besit
  2. (rare or no longer productive) Around; about.
    begather, belay, belook, bestir, belive, besmell, bewrap
  3. (rare or no longer productive) About, regarding, concerning, over.
    bewrite, betalk, betell, bemoan, bemourn, bewail, beknow, besing, bespeak
  4. (rare or no longer productive) On, upon, at, to, in contact with something.
    beclothe, becall, besee, behold, befall, bedo, beshine, besmile, betone
  5. (rare or no longer productive) Off, away, over, across
    becut, bedeal, betake, bego, behead, belimb, benim, bereave, besleeve, betrunk
  6. (rare or no longer productive) As an intensifier; i.e. thoroughly, excessively; completely; utterly.
    bebreak, begladden, belabour, behate, bedazzle
  7. (rare or no longer productive) All around; about; abundantly; all over.
    belave, belick, bescatter, bekiss
  8. (rare or no longer productive) Forming verbs derived from nouns or adjectives, usually with the sense of "to make, become, or cause to be".
    becalm, bedark, befree, befriend, bedim, beken, benight, benothing, bewet, besmooth, bestrange
  9. (archaic or informal) Used to intensify adjectives meaning "adorned with something", often those with the suffix -ed.
    besequined, befeathered, beclawed, bewebbed, betasseled, beloved
    • 2010 October 17, Hadley Freeman, "Tattoos: what makes one spiritual and another Katona-esque?", in The Guardian[1]:
      Similarly, one could argue that if these be-tattooed yogic folk were really so spiritual, they wouldn't feel the need to inform everyone else of this or remind themselves of it, via the medium of the tattoo.

Derived terms

References

  • the NED and OED

Anagrams


Danish

Etymology

From Middle Low German be-, from Old Saxon bi-, from Proto-Germanic *bi-.

Prefix

be-

  1. Forms adjectives from nouns, with the sense "having noun".
    hår ("hair") → behåret ("hairy")
    hjerte ("heart") → behjertet ("hearty, brave")
  2. Forms verbs from adjectives, with the sense "making" (adjective); -ify.
    svanger ("pregnant") → besvangre ("impregnate")
    rolig ("calm") → berolige ("calm, soothe")
  3. Prepends to verbs, having no effect save making the verb transitive
    tvivlebetvivle ("doubt")
    kæmpebekæmpe ("fight")

Usage notes

Verbs formed with be- are transitive. Many such words are formed after Middle Low German words.

Derived terms

References


Dutch

Etymology

From Middle Dutch be-, bi-, from Old Dutch bi-, be-, from Proto-Germanic *bi-.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /b?/
  • (file)

Prefix

be-

  1. Used to indicate that a verb is acting on a direct object (making the verb transitive). Always unstressed.

Derived terms


German

Etymology

From Middle High German be-, from Old High German bi-, from Proto-Germanic *bi-, from Proto-Indo-European *h?epi.

Pronunciation

Prefix

be-

  1. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies working on something or change of state.
  2. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies touching the object.
  3. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies discussing or mentioning the object.

Usage notes

Derived terms


Hungarian

Pronunciation

Prefix

be-

  1. (verbal prefix) in. It indicates actions with inward direction.
    megy ("to go") -> bemegy ("to go into")

Antonyms

Derived terms

See also

References


Limburgish

Etymology

From Middle Dutch be-, bi-, from Old Dutch bi-, be-, from Proto-Germanic *bi-.

Pronunciation

Prefix

be-

  1. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies working on something or change of state.
  2. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies touching the object.
  3. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies discussing or mentioning the object.

Usage notes

  • The verb with this prefix takes very often a direct object (i.e., an object in the accusative case).

Related terms


Luxembourgish

Etymology

From Old High German bi-, from Proto-Germanic *bi-, from *bi.

Pronunciation

Prefix

be-

  1. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies working on something or change of state.
  2. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies touching the object.
  3. Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies discussing or mentioning the object.

Usage notes

Derived terms


Middle Dutch

Etymology

From Old Dutch bi-, be-, from Proto-Germanic *bi-.

Prefix

be-

  1. A verb prefix with a variety of meanings.

Derived terms

Descendants

  • Dutch: be-
  • Limburgish: be-

Middle Low German

Etymology

From Old Saxon bi-, from Proto-Germanic *bi-. Cognate to ("by").

Pronunciation

Prefix

be-

  1. Makes an intransitive verb transitive or denotes that the action is targeted at something or accompanying something.
    vallen (to fall) -> bevallen (befall, afflict)
    singen (to sing) -> besingen (to sing about something; to sing for the merit of something)
    bischop besingen - to ordain someone as bishop while chanting
  2. Denotes on top, onto, often used to create figurative meanings.
    sitten (to sit) -> besitten (to sit on top of; to own; to climb onto something; to acquire)
  3. Denotes next to, very close.
    bûwen (to build) -> bebûwen (to build too close to something else; to besiege)

Alternative forms


Navajo

Prefix

be-

  1. his, her (indicates secondary or alienable possession, in opposition to bi-. See for example ak'ah, be'ak'ah)

See also


Old English

Etymology

An unstressed form of b?, from Proto-Germanic *bi-.

Pronunciation

Prefix

be-

  1. a productive prefix usually used to form verbs and adjectives, especially:
    verbs with the sense "around, throughout";
    transitive verbs from intransitive verbs, adjectives and nouns

Usage notes

  • This prefix is always unstressed, in both nouns and verbs.
  • The stressed nominal counterpart is b?-.

Derived terms

Descendants


Old Saxon

Prefix

be-

  1. Alternative form of bi-

Swedish

Prefix

be-

  1. same as German be-, often found in German loan-words, primarily verbs and words based on verbs

Usage notes

In many cases the be- prefix doesn't change the meaning at all, it only makes word look more German. Swedish linguists in the late 19th century (Adolf Noreen, later also Erik Wellander) successfully promoted the idea that this prefix should be dropped from such words, for example befrämja turned into främja.

Derived terms


Volapük

Prefix

be-

  1. Used to make an indirect object a direct object.
  2. Strengthens the meaning of the radical.
  3. Implies causing or conferring the meaning of the radical.

Derived terms


Zulu

Etymology

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Prefix

be-

  1. Class 2 simple noun prefix, used with nouns whose full prefix is abe-.

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be-
 



 



 
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