English edit

Etymology edit

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 *h₁epi (at, near). See by.

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

Pronunciation edit

Prefix edit

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, belie, 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 edit

References edit

  • the NED and OED

Anagrams edit

Afrikaans edit

Etymology edit

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

Pronunciation edit

Prefix edit

be-

  1. Used to indicate that a verb is acting on a direct object (making an intransitive verb into a transitive verb). Always unstressed.
  2. Used to change the direct object of a transitive verb, so that what was previously expressed as an optional prepositional object becomes the direct object and vice versa. Always unstressed.
    pyle op die diere skiet → die diere met pyle beskiet
    to shoot arrows at the animals

Usage notes edit

Not separable. When forming past participles, those generally aren't prepended with the prefix ge-.

Danish edit

Etymology edit

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

Prefix edit

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 edit

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

Derived terms edit

References edit

Dutch edit

Etymology edit

From Middle Dutch be-, bi-, from Old Dutch bi-, be-, from Proto-Germanic *bi-, from Proto-Germanic *bi (near, by), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₁epi (at, near).

Cognate with Saterland Frisian be- (be-), West Frisian be- (be-), English be-, German Low German be- (be-), German be- (be-), Swedish be- (be-).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /bə/
  • (file)

Prefix edit

be-

  1. Used to indicate that a verb is acting on a direct object (making an intransitive verb into a transitive verb). Always unstressed.
  2. Used to change the direct object of a transitive verb, so that what was previously expressed as an optional prepositional object becomes the direct object and vice versa. Always unstressed.
    huizen op een land bouwen → een land met huizen bebouwen
    to build houses on a land

Derived terms edit

German edit

Etymology edit

From Middle High German be-, from Old High German bi-, from Proto-Germanic *bi-, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁epi.

Pronunciation edit

Prefix edit

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 edit

Derived terms edit

Hungarian edit

Pronunciation edit

Prefix edit

be-

  1. (verbal prefix) in (it indicates actions with inward direction)
    Antonym: ki-
    be- + ‎megy (to go) → ‎bemegy (to go into)

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

See also edit

References edit

Indonesian edit

Prefix edit

be-

  1. Alternative form of ber-

Limburgish edit

Etymology edit

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

Pronunciation edit

Prefix edit

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 edit

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

Related terms edit

Luxembourgish edit

Etymology edit

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

Pronunciation edit

Prefix edit

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 edit

Derived terms edit

Middle Dutch edit

Etymology edit

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

Prefix edit

be-

  1. A verb prefix with a variety of meanings.

Derived terms edit

Descendants edit

  • Dutch: be-
  • Limburgish: be-

Middle English edit

Prefix edit

be-

  1. Alternative form of bi-

Middle Low German edit

Etymology edit

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

Pronunciation edit

Prefix edit

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 edit

Navajo edit

Prefix edit

be-

  1. his, her (indicates secondary or alienable possession, in opposition to bi-. See for example akʼah, beʼakʼah)

See also edit

Old English edit

Etymology edit

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

Pronunciation edit

Prefix edit

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 edit

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

Derived terms edit

Descendants edit

Old Saxon edit

Prefix edit

be-

  1. Alternative form of bi-

Swedish edit

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /bɛ/, (stressed) /²beː/

Prefix edit

be-

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

Usage notes edit

In many cases the be- prefix doesn't change the meaning at all, it only makes word look more German. In the name of conciseness and readability, 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 edit

Tooro edit

Prefix edit

be-

  1. Form used before a verb beginning with the letter e of ba-
    be- + ‎efubika (to cover oneself) → ‎beefubika (they cover themselves)

Uzbek edit

Etymology edit

Inherited from Chagataiبی⁩, from Classical Persianبی‌ـ(bē-).

Prefix edit

be-

  1. -less
    Synonym: -siz

Derived terms edit

Volapük edit

Prefix edit

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 edit

Wutunhua edit

Etymology edit

From Mandarin .

Pronunciation edit

Prefix edit

be-

  1. not; negates the existence of an action or state conveyed by a verb or adjective, in practice chiefly used as negation in the present or future.

Derived terms edit

  • bai (to not be)

See also edit

  • bai- (derives a negative command)
  • mi- (negates the completion of an action)

References edit

  • Juha Janhunen, Marja Peltomaa, Erika Sandman, Xiawu Dongzhou (2008) Wutun (LINCOM's Descriptive Grammar Series), volume 466, LINCOM Europa, →ISBN
  • Erika Sandman (2016) A Grammar of Wutun[2], University of Helsinki (PhD), →ISBN

Zulu edit

Etymology edit

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

Prefix edit

be-

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