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Be. v. [ME. be, ben, OE. béon.] intr. To be.

A. Illustration of forms. The normal forms are confused and augmented in various ways. The more notable instances are the following: (1) The use of is for am, art, are, when the personal pronoun does not immediately precede, and similarly of wes, was, for the plural were, ware. (2) The extension of the indicative forms beis and war(e to the subjunctive. (3) The adoption by the poets of English forms, as bene for are (and erroneously for is), werren, warryn for were, ware, be or ybe for the p.p. bene, and conversely bene for the infin. be. In early texts, is, wes, and was frequently rhyme with words having long vowels, e.g. is with prys (Barb. i. 240), wys (Ib. 265); wes with lese (Troy-bk. i. 590), pece (Ib. ii. 44), was with cas (= case; Barb. i. 563), grace (Ib. iii. 233), etc. This does not imply actual lengthening in these forms.

I. 1. Inf. be, bee, bie, bei; bene, beene, beyn. [Northern ME. be (bi, by), midl. and southern ben(e, been, beon, OE. béon (ONhb. bían).] (a) a 1350 Nat. MSS. ii. 14 (be yemit).
Barb. v. 300 (wald bundin till him be).
Leg. S. i. 1 (Peter of ‘petra’ may be tane).
1409 Exch. R. IV. p. ccxi (sal suffir to be done).
Wynt. vii. 1167 (Malcolme gert he be traweland).
Ratis R. 693 (it hapnis oft in mycht to bee).
Bk. Chess 484 (the sapiens that suld be in a quene).
Dunb. Flyting 63 (in brybrie ay to be).
Stewart 12408 (that is, or was, or be sall).
Scott xviii. 14 (sall I nevir mirry be).
J. Stewart 52/147 (invisebill to bie).
1649 Wemyss Chart. 231 (quhaitt sall bei doune with my clothes).
1653 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 226 (to bie baptized by him).
(b) Wynt. ix. 3103 (all wertuouslike to bene in were).
Wall. xi. 1116 (thow mon bene set in feyr).
Gol. & Gaw. 39 (that suld thair bute bene).
1493 Acta Aud. 180/2 (because he maid nocht D. Quhithed bene contentit).
Bk. Chess 529 (chaist in hir persone to bene).
Dunb. xxvii. 80 (he went agane to bene bespewit).
Freiris Berw. 389 (quhat may this bene?).
Drummond I. 18/7 (why should I beene a partner of the light?).

2. Pres. Indic. a. be, bee, = am, art, is, are. [ME. be, beo, OE. béo. 1st person sing.] Barb. i. 615 (how that I sympill be!).
Ratis R. 714 (quhen eild and deses cumyne bee).
Doug. i. Prol. 232 (quhilk mony mylis syndry be); viii. Prol. 120 (quhat bern be thou?).
Freiris Berw. 237 (quha be this?).

b. beis, beys, beies, bes, beas, bis, = is, art, are, shall be. Chiefly in subordinate clauses after gif, quhen, that, etc. [Northern ME. bes, bese, beis, midl. and southern beth, etc., OE. bið 3rd sing., and béoð pl.] (1) Barb. xix. 300 (it beis nocht swa).
Leg. S. l. 220 (thu beis a thrill).
Cr. Deyng 257 (he beis sauit).
Ratis R. 1419 (Iugment beis al forȝet).
Henr. Fab. 2460 (werryit beis all my scheip).
Wall. i. 433 (this day he beis nocht socht).
Seven S. 960 (this sample beis on ȝow sene).
Contempl. Sinn. 560 (of blis thow beis ay baire).
Stewart 17580 (the feild this da beis ouris).
1581 Colville Lett. 3 (the King and the Duke beis gossops).
1633 Maxwell Mem. II. 242 (the kingis maiestie beis al day in Seitowne).
(2) Barb. x. 576 (gif it beis neid).
1399 Melville Chart. 15 (gif the landis beis distroyit).
1405 Lennox Mun. 57 (to be payd gyff it beis askyt).
1420 Red Bk. Menteith I. 261 (if it sa beies).
Wynt. viii. 901 (gyff he beis swa).
Consail Wys Man 15 (with ill men gif that thou beis).
1508 Reg. Privy S. I. 241/1 (gif ony catall beis apprehendit … ).
Doug. i. ix. 43 (gif euer reward beis get).
1541 Conv. Burghs I. 555 (for the falȝe gyf ony beis).
Compl. 97/23 (gif sa beis that … ).
1556 Inverness B. Rec. I. 2 (gyf the sayd Thom beys fundyn … ).
1577 Conv. Burghs I. 50 (gif the haill beis ingottin).
1617 Elgin Rec. II. 152 (gif he beis found absent).
1638 Kirkcaldy Presb. 125 (if need bes).
1643 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 2 (if his commissioun beis alterit).
(3) Leg. S. xviii. 833 (quhen al beis done).
1428 Liber Aberbr. 58 (as lang as the abbot beis at his innys).
Alex. ii. 2066 (quha beis heir, lufe him behouis).
1454–5 Edinb. Chart. 79 (als oft as the said ryllik beis borne).
1482 Fam. Rose 147 (till ressave the castell quhen it beys takyn).
1483 Acta Aud. *123/1 (samekle as beis nocht deliuerit).
1508 Reg. Privy S. I. 241/2 (all catall that beyis apprehendit thairin).
1530 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 27 (als sone as the samyn beis knawin).
Lynd. Meldrum 1413 (quhen I heir that thow beis deid).
Buch. Wr. 13 (quha beis nocht fund hable salbe deposit).
1574 Prot. Bk. G. Fyiff 7 b (quhow often it beis redemit).
1588 Glenartney Doc. (ane or ma as neid beis).
1614 Crim. Trials III. 296 (quhat conditioun beis promeist ȝow).
1645 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 52 (quhosoever beis absent).
1656 Marischal Coll. Rec. I. 215 (howsoone I and my forsaidis beis desyrit).

c. bene, bein(e, beyn(e, byne. = are, is, am. [Midland ME. bene, beene, ben, OE. béon, 3rd pl. subj.] (1) pl. Howlat 426 (that bene cot armouris of eild).
Wall. xi. 83 (parteis beyn met).
Bk. Chess 625 (hir barnis quhat so euir thai bene).
Dunb. lxi. 20 (cursouris that in silk beine trappit).
Doug. i. iv. 70 (not ignorant bene we); viii. 80 (quhou beyn sic thewis sufferit?).
Bell. Boece I. 271 (quhare mony kingis bene beryit).
Lynd. Mon. 1756 (to quhom al thingis bene present).
1570 Sat. P. xii. 186 (sum thair bene waittis on the Quene).
Montg. Misc. P. xxxv. 1 (quhy bene ȝe so long on sleep?).
(2) sing. Contempl. Sinn. 624 (sic is the douchter as the moder beyne); 847 (he bene a gudlye knycht).
Dunb. G. Targe 77 (Cleo, that help of makaris bene); lxxxix. 3 (the lustyest one alyve that byne).
Doug. iv. Prol. 44 (quhar thar beyn na parage).
Clar. i. 1347 (quhair Clariodus beine ȝit).
Lynd. Answ. Flyting 6 (I quhilk bene so detractit).
Id. Mon. 5266 (to God allone the day bene knawin).
Arbuthnot Maitl. Q. xxx. 18 (the brichtest thing that euer creat bein).
Craig i. 11 (thy folde bene broke).

3. Pres. subj. be, bee, bie. [ME. be, bie, beo, OE. béo sing., béon pl.] Also beis, etc. (see 2 b). Barb. x. 576 E (and it be ned).
Ratis R. 739 (a clerk gif that thow be).
Wall. x. 514 (or that ilk tyme be went).
Rauf C. 56 (and it be nocht swa); 626 (gif thair be sic ane).
1483 Acta Aud. *115/1 (that summondis be gevin apon him).
Dunb. lxix. 25 (quhill that hir glas be run).
1526 Stirling B. Rec. I. 27 (that na muttoun … be blawin).
Lynd. Meldrum (be thow ane knicht, cum furth to me).
Scott iv. 97 (gif this bie).

4. Imperative sing. be; pl. beis. (See also Beid.) [ME. sing. be, beo, OE. béo; northern pl. bes(e, beys, midl. and southern beth(e, beoth, OE. béoð. Douglas has beis as a singular.] (1) sing. Leg. S. iii. 957 (be sikyr and dred nocht).
1395 Menzies Chart. MS. (be it knawyn tyl al).
1426 Reg. Great S. 11/1 (be it kend tel al men).
Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 465 (hutit be the halok lase).
Rowll Cursing (blak be thair hour).
Lauder Off. Kings 489 (be wer and mend).
(2) pl. Leg. S. vi. 326 (beis baptiste but delay); xxvii. 1521 (beis nocht irk).
Wynt. viii. 6569 (beis off gud confurd).
Doug. i. vi. 44 (beis to ws happy and kynd); xiii. ii. 78 (beys glaid).

5. Pres. pple. beand(e, beaund; being(e, beyng(e, beying. [Northern ME. beand, midl. and southern beende, beonde (and being), OE. béonde.] (a) 1385 Red Bk. Grandtully I. 138* (nane beand present bot we thre).
Leg. S. xxxvi. 192 (he beand god).
Troy-bk. ii. 1081 (scho in-to lyf beand).
1405 Lennox Mun. 58 (the indenturis beande of na valow).
Hay I. 202/30 (he beand redy to geve the sacrament).
1478 Misc. Spald. C. V. 26 (beand gadderit in the tolbuthe).
1491 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 326 (twa tercis beand defalkyt).
1500 Fraser P. (beaund personaly present).
Doug. iv. xii. 76 (thou beand thus heir schent).
1540 Edinb. Chart. 212 (the pley beand dependand).
1554 Reg. Cupar A. II. 113 (beand reddy thairto at all tymmes).
Leslie 45 (the thre estatis beand gadderit).
1615 Black Bk. Taymouth 52 (the laird of Laweris beand bot taxsman).
Bisset I. 7/6 (the peopill beand trubled be the Germanis).
(b) 1493 Acta Conc. 292/2 (Lord Hay being apon the seruing of a breif).
Asl. MS. I. 253/17 (the gret Charllis beyng king of Fraunce).
1551 Reg. Cupar A. II. 71 (it beyng sufficientlie previn).
1561–2 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 359 (beying in number xxxij stoks).
Leslie 171 (the Lord Seytoun beynge appointit hes keipar).

6. Past pple. bene (ben), bein(e, beyn(e, bean, beene; be, poet. y-be, = been. [ME. ben, bene, and be (y-be), late OE. ᵹebéon.] (a) Barb. iv. 741 E (he had bene fals); xiii. 49 (it had bene hard).
Leg. S. i. 393 (al wend Goddis son that he had ben).
Wynt. ii. 456 (all the folk had nere bene drownyt).
Irland Mir. I. 9/10 (auld storiis that has bene verifiit).
Seven S. 1048 (togidder fane thai wald haf bene).
Dunb. lxviii. 20 (so is this warld and ay hes bene).
G. Ball. 36 (I haif bene to bauld).
Pitsc. I. 56/1 (as they had ben settand tinchellis).
Hume v. 134 (I haue beene seik).
1650 Inverurie 313 (if they have bene absent).
(b) Brus iv. 741 C (he had beyn fals); xiii. 49 (it had beyne hard).
Wall. i. 6 (it has beyne seyne); ix. 1630 (thow mycht haiff beyn away).
Doug. i. iv. 23 (as it ane hows had beyn).
1515 Douglas Corr. 69 (and ocht hes beyne doyne).
Gau 69/32 (thair haid na creaturs beine sa miserabil).
1559 St. A. Kirk S. 13 (we confess that we haif beyne sweir).
Maitl. F. xxi. 1 (the blythnes that hes bein).
Dalr. I. 114/32 (to haue beine brocht).
Mure I. 5/74 (he [that] hes bein dumbe).
1643 Strathbogie Presb. 43 (tuo commissiones that he had bein vpon).
(c) Doug. ii. i. 7 (as it had be for prosper returnyng); ix. vi. 67 (ful happy had he be gif … ); xi. i. 73 (quhilk had tofor ybe squyer … ).
Bell. Livy I. 23/5 (as beistis had be cumin).

b. Ellipt. = have been. Wall. xi. 1377 (it suld beyn at his will).
Henr. Fab. 961 (for dreddour that he suld bene arreist).
Dunb. xxvii. 80 (he went againe to bene bespewit).
Christis K. 138 B (he wend it bene for auld done feid).
Rolland Seven S. 72/11 (ȝe wald bene seik the morne).

II. 7. Pres. Indic. (1) am, ame, amm; is; (2) art(e; ar; is; (3) is, ys, his; es; -is, -s; (4) pl. are, ar, arr(e, air, er(e, is. [ME. sing. 1 am (ONhb. am, OE. eam, eom), 2 art (OE. eart), 3 is, ys (OE. is, ys). northern es (ON. es); pl. ar(e, aren (ONhb. aron, arun, OMerc. earun), northern er, ere (ON. eru).] Voiceless s in is is indicated by rhymes with such words as blis, mis, i-wis. (1) Barb. iii. 618 (quhill that I am in aynd).
Leg. S. ii. 1001 (I ame verray Iow); xxxii. 297 (I am cummyne here).
Wisd. Sol. 386 (how I ame maid so hye).
1525 Douglas Corr. 97 (I ame rycht sure).
Pitsc. I. 35/30 (I ame the more offendit).
Hume 79 (to nain I am addettit).
Wynt. i. Prol. 79 (I … wylfull is my det to pay).
Alex. ii. 2073 (I to say is richt ioyous); 3641 (I of ȝouris sesit is).
Dunb. xix. 23 (I … In my hairt is prowd and hie).
1525 Douglas Corr. 104 (I was and is reddy).
Rolland Seven S. 300/6 (sa lang as I on lyfe is lestand here).
(2) Leg. S. i. 13 (thu art Petir); vii. 691 (vnhappy sone arte thu).
Howlat 481 (and thow deid art).
Gol. & Gaw. 957 (as thow art God verray).
Dunb. xc. 70 (quhen thow art ald).
Peblis to Play 116 (thow art our blunt).
Lynd. Meldrum 1374 (thow art forlorne).
1601 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 184 (thou art onder wraik).
1610 Rec. Old Aberd. I. 49 (ar thow takin af thai bonnat?).
Leg. S. vi. 565 (thu, that kynge & mychtty is).
Wynt. v. 3698 (off swylk serwandys as thow is).
Garden Garden 79 (for all thy wealth, thou's miserable).
(3) Barb. xvi. 534 (quhar lestand loving is).
1385 3rd Rep. Hist. MSS. 410/1 (thys Tewysday that nw ys).
Howlat 70 (is nane bot dame Natur … ).
Dunb. liii. 19 (waes me; he is bedirtin).
Rolland Seven S. Rdr. 12 (to bring but its ill thats not thair ben).
Bann. MS. 221 b/12 (bot weilis me); 17 (weillis).
G. Ball. 70 (lufe his fulfilling of the law).
Sat. P. xxxiii. 80 (the proverb is).
1656 Lanark Presb. 100 (quhen its filled up).
(4) pl. Barb. i. 1 (storys to rede ar delitabill); iv. 705 (thair bemys strekit air); vii. 243 (al that traualand ere).
Leg. S. vi. 342 (fele palace are in hewine).
1401 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 382 (thir arr the sortis that arr).
1440 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 192 (als ferre as thai arre of force).
Wall. i. 308 (our kyne ar slayne).
1488 Stirlings of Keir 263 (that ar to say).
Gau 3/7 (of thir bukis thir ar the gretest).
c 1535 Lennox Mun. 347 (I parsayf ȝe air in gud heill).
1567 Sat. P. v. 64 (ȝe ar to blame).
Mure Misc. P. ii. 21 (ye wonders now ar present).
Barb. iii. 317 (we … is ay in sic trawailling).
Wynt. v. 3933 (quhat yhe haue bene and is to be).
Cr. Deyng 3/83 (als mony as thare is dropis in the sey).
Maitl. F. xxxiv. 7 (sweit is thay birdis).
Ferg. Prov. 24 (bannoks is better nor na kin bread).
Philotus clvi. (auld men is twyse bairnis).

8. Past Indic. a. sing. wes (ves, vesz), wese, wis; was (vas, uas), wase, wace. [ME. wes, was (OE. wæs, wes, ON. *was).] Voiceless s in wes, was, is indicated by rhymes with -nes, dres, or pas, gras. (a) Barb. xi. 38 (that wes vnwisly done); xvii. 450 (quhen evynsang tym ves neir).
Leg. S. i. 142 (he that ded wese).
1398 Acts I. 212/2 (in Auril that last wes).
1471 Acta Aud. 20/2 (quhare he wes in his bed).
Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 2 (neir as midnicht wes past).
Lynd. Mon. 1273 (quhat wes the cause).
Winȝet I. 43/5 (sa wes Matthias ordenatit).
1569 Sat. P. x. 21 (I wes agast).
Bisset II. 317/14 (Mathew wes beheided).
Spalding II. 34 (the king wes said to be … ).
(b) Barb. i. 630 (as forspokin was).
Leg. S. i. 248 (quhen Petir cumyn wase); iii. 234 (that cité that nere set uas by); vi. 362 (quhen that doune vas).
Wynt. ii. 1056 (that slaare off hys fadyre wace).
Howlat 30 (heilfull it was).
Cr. Deyng 3/67 (he was na synar).
Seven S. 1772 (quhen it was day).
Dunb. G. Targe 104 (as was the gyse).
G. Ball. 200 (is, was, nor salbe none).
Pitsc. I. 15 (he vas estemed the grettest man).

b. pl. were (vere), wer, weir, werren; ware (vare), wair, wayr, war (var), wor, warryn. Also wes, was. [ME. were, weren (OE. wǽron, wéron), and ware, waren (ON. *wáru).] (a) Barb. ii. 321 (quhen that his folk assemblyt wer).
Leg. S. xi. 8 (sene thai brethir were); xvi. 188 (Goddis word thai sawand vere).
Gol. & Gaw. 368 (fra court cum thay weir); 471 (gramest that wer).
Doug. Pal. Hon. i. 402 (thay werren sa expert).
Peblis to Play 49 (quhen thai wer our the wald).
Lynd. Meldrum 1291 (sum wer slane).
Pitsc. I. 17/19 (quhair the cofferis wer imbarcatt).
(b) Barb. ii. 346 (on athir syd war thai yhar).
Leg. S. i. 191 (he send twa at worthy ware).
Wynt. viii. 6278 (all that slayne war thare … a thowsand ware).
1483 Acta Conc. II. Introd. 111 (thai var utherwais retourit).
Doug. xiii. Prol. 48 (clos warryn all).
Dunb. G. Targe 247 (suete war the vapouris).
Compl. 39 (robeen and the vran var hamely in vyntir).
Winȝet I. 15/22 (ȝe ware callit Schire Iohne).
James VI Ess. 35 (all thwm that ware their builders).
Montg. Misc. P. iii. 79 (they war not bleat).
1669 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 254 (they ware of intentione).
(c) c 1350 Facsimiles Nat. MSS. II. 14 (was wont. = L. solebant).
Barb. iv. 94 (sum ves slane).
Wisd. Sol. 378 (al thingis that was wnder the sone).
Gol. & Gaw. 134 (birdis that bright wes of ble); 464 (grundin ganyeis thair wase).
Rauf C. 131 (quhair brandis was bricht).
Doug. K. Hart 169 (the bernis wes basit of the sicht).
Winȝet I. 3/20 (mair effrayit than we and thay wes).
Pitsc. I. 47 (the landis that was wntaillȝied).
Moysie 13 (the erles wes agaitward).

9. Past subj. wer, weir; war (var), ware, uaire. [ME. were, ware, northern war (OE. wǽre). pl. also weren, etc. (OE. wǽren).] (a) Barb. i. 3 (storys that suthfast wer);
Ib. 44.
Gol. & Gaw. 492 (that ilk might wit quhat he weir).
Lynd. Answ. Flyting 15 (wer I ane poeit); 61 (it wer ane pyne).
G. Ball. 33 (thocht thow to graue wer gone).
(b) Barb. i. 201 (gyff ony thar-at war wrath); xvi. 650 (war him weill or war him wa).
1390 Coldingham Priory 60 (as we wold that he ware).
Leg. S. xii. 70 (gyf thu myn awne ware).
Hay I. 214/12 (ellis war it litill of valure).
Gol. & Gaw. 154 (it war wrang to be knawin).
Doug. i. iii. 26 (as it war wode).
G. Ball. 59 (full wo war me).
Pitsc. I. 3 (as hevin and hell var nathing bot ane fabill).
James VI Lusus R. 36 (if sho uaire but faire).
1671 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 270 (untill they ware fitt).

B. Special uses.

1. To have as followers. esp. in fighting. Thai war sex quhar he wes ane; Barb. vii. 521.
Quhen thai saw he wes so quhoyne; Ib. xv. 363.
He wes neir ten thousand men; Ib. xvi. 360.
Galyot was o pasing multitude; Lanc. 1109.
Whar he befor was one, than vas he two; Ib. 2535.
Fiftie thousand … Of Britis bald he wes that samin da; Stewart 25164.
That tyme he wes ouir few; Ib. 25584.
Semeramis the Quene, Quhilk for one man wes aye fyftene; Lynd. Mon. 3140.
I culd haif beyn twyse als mony; 1559 Misc. Wodrow Soc. 266.
Gif I had bene ane hundreth, and he his alone; 1581 Bann. Memor. 320.

2. The infin. be (without to) before past participles, esp. after here, mak, se. I herd neuir mencione be made; Barb. vi. 494.
That saw his fallowis swa … be slayne; Ib. vii. 461.
Gyf it hapnyt [her to] se Hyr sonis cors vpe castine be; Leg. S. xxi. 937.
Quhan that he saw thame chargit be; Alex. i. 2782.
This hindir ȝeir I hard be tald; Henr. Bl. Serk 1.
Sa tratourlike [he] maid him be draw; Doug. Pal. Hon. i. 158.
As I haue hard be tald; Id. Æn. xii. xiv. 114.
To minister, and cause ministrat be Justice; Lauder Off. Kings .
God … Hes hecht on thé avengit be; Ib. 502.

3. In the past indic. was, introducing a past date. Sen Witsonday was a ȝere bigain; 1483 Acta Aud. *121/1.
At Beltane wes ane yeir; 1594 Paisley B. Rec. 158.
Upon Sunday was auchte nichtis; 1607 Kinghorn Kirk S. 9.
Since the beginning of July was a year; 1644 Baillie II. 213.

4. To serve as material for (a garment, etc.). For ij elne of sating … to be a doublat to the king; 1473 Treas. Acc. I. 15.
For iiij elne of russait to be ane goune to Ranald Roy; 1497 Ib. 366.
Deliverit … vij unicorne wecht … gold of mynd, to be twa dusane buttonis; 1542 Ib. VIII. 88.
xxij elnis of Franche blak to be thame clokis; 1562 Ib. XI. 180.
Thornis to be the allay hedge; 1615–6 Mun. Univ. Glasg. III. 566.

5. To lat or let be (let alone): see Lat v., Let v.

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