From Middle English been (past participle), from Old English (ġe)bēon.
- (General American, Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /bɪn/
- (General American, particularly common in the Great Lakes, Midwest) IPA(key): /bɛn/
- (Received Pronunciation, US dialectal) IPA(key): /biːn/
- (unstressed) IPA(key): /bɨn/, [bɪ̈n]
- past participle of be.
- All the fries have been eaten.
- They been here since yesterday. (dialectal, e.g. AAVE, omitting have)
- (Southern US or African-American Vernacular) remote past form of be.
- He been had that job.
- We been knew they was doing this.
- 2013, DayQuan Miller, Back Blocks, StealthMode Entertainment, page 147:
- She was disloyal, Casper was disloyal, so them muthafuckas gotta go. Like you said[,] we been knew we was going to have to kill Frost, so let's do it and Light too.” Star said. “Say no more. I'ma handle Kisha myself.” Max said walking to the door.
- 2015, Alexander Pollatsek, Rebecca Treiman, The Oxford Handbook of Reading, Oxford Library of Psychology (→ISBN), page 433: "For example, the remote past “been” is used as part of the verb to express something that took place in the distant past: 'he been reading story books.'"
- 2020, Mary Kohn, Walt Wolfram, Charlie Farrington, Jennifer Renn, Janneke Van Hofwegen, African American Language: Language development from Infancy to Adulthood, Cambridge University Press (→ISBN), page 231: "Remote past 'been' ([RPB], coded on word) = been is used to mark action in the remote past; in such cases the word been is always stressed (e.g., he been[RPB] had that job; I been[RPB] bought her clothes)."
Either from Middle English been (“to be”, infinitive) (from Old English bēon), or from a dialectal use of the preceding past tense form as an infinitive form (compare dialectal use of (I)'s, (I) is in the first person, (he) am in the third person, etc).
- (Southern US or African-American Vernacular, rare) Synonym of be (infinitival sense).
- It useta been five foot long.
- 1875, Minstrel Gags and End Men's Hand-book, New York: Dick and Fitzgerald, page 83; republished New York: Literature House, 1969:
- "Bones", says he, "I tink dey's a-goin' to been a war ober de Alabamy question […]
- 1888, Mary Augusta Ward, “Book I”, in Robert Elsmere, London: Macmillan and Company, page 20:
- Yur a boald 'un to tell the missus theer to hur feeace as how ya wur 'tossicatit whan ya owt to been duing yur larful business.
- 1966, quoting DARE Tape SC10, “be v”, in Frederic G. Cassidy; Joan Houston Hall, editors, Dictionary of American Regional English, volume 1, Harvard University Press, published 1985, page 178:
- […] But one time it use' to been so cold right first of the winter.
From Middle English been (plural indicative form).
- (obsolete) plural simple present of be.
- 1584, George Peele, The Arraignment of Paris, I, ii
- My love is fair, my love is gay,
- As fresh as been the flowers in May;
- c. 1607–1608, William Shakeſpeare, The Late, And much admired Play, Called Pericles, Prince of Tyre. […], London: Imprinted at London for Henry Goſſon, […], published 1609, →OCLC, [Act II, Prologue]:
- Where when men been, there's ſeldome eaſe,
- 1641, Ben Jonson, The Sad Shepherd, I, iii
- O Friar, those are faults that are not seen,
- Ours open, and of worse example been.
- 1686, Edward Fairfax, transl., Godfrey of Bulloigne: Or, The Recovery of Jerusalem, 20, page 8:
- Some of green Boughs their slender Cabbins frame, / Some lodged were Tortoſa's streets about, / Of all the Hoſt the Chief of Worth and Name / Aſſembled been, a Senate grave and ſtout;
- 1584, George Peele, The Arraignment of Paris, I, ii
Vaux, Bert and Scott Golder. 2003. The Harvard Dialect Survey: been. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Linguistics Department.
From Dutch been, from Middle Dutch bêen, from Old Dutch bēn, from Proto-Germanic *bainą.
been (plural bene or beendere, diminutive beentjie)
- The plural beendere is used alternatively in the sense “bone”, especially collectively.
From Middle Dutch bêen, from Old Dutch bēn, from Proto-West Germanic *bain, from Proto-Germanic *bainą.
been n (plural benen, diminutive beentje n)
- leg, limb of a person, horse (other animals' would have poten) and certain objects (again many have poten)
- De benen van een passer. ― The legs of a pair of compasses.
- (mathematics) side, leg
- De benen van een hoek. ― The sides of an angle.
- the upper part of a sock, above the ankle.
- The contemporary plural benen is derived from an analogy to other nouns with regular plurals. Originally, been was left unchanged in the plural; such use in preserved only in set phrases like op de been (“upright, standing, awake”).
been n (plural beenderen or benen, diminutive beentje n)
- bone, constituent part of a skeleton.
- (uncountable) bone, the chalky material bones are made of.
- Synonym: bot
- de benen nemen
- op de been
See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.
Dutch Low SaxonEdit
From Low German Been, from Middle Low German bên, from Old Saxon bēn.
- German Low German: Been
From Old Dutch bēn, from Proto-West Germanic *bain, from Proto-Germanic *bainą.
This noun needs an inflection-table template.
- bein (Limburgish)
- Dutch: been
- Limburgish: bein
- “been”, in Vroegmiddelnederlands Woordenboek, 2000
- Verwijs, E.; Verdam, J. (1885–1929), “been”, in Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, →ISBN
From a conflation of Old English bēon and wesan, from Proto-West Germanic *beun and *wesan, from Proto-Germanic *beuną and *wesaną, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰewHeti and a conflation of *h₂wéseti and *h₁ésti.
been (third-person singular simple present is, present participle beynge, first-/third-person singular past indicative was, past participle been)
- (intransitive) To be; to exist or have existence:
- (copulative) To be something or someone.
- c. 1395, John Wycliffe, John Purvey [et al.], transl., Bible (Wycliffite Bible (later version), MS Lich 10.), published c. 1410, Apocalips 3:15, page 118v, column 1; republished as Wycliffe's translation of the New Testament, Lichfield: Bill Endres, 2010:
- I woot þi werkis · foꝛ nei[þer] þou art coold nei[þer] þou art hoot / I wolde þat þou were coold ei[þer] hoot
- I know your actions: you aren't cold, but neither are you hot. I'd like it if you were either cold or hot.
- 1407, The Testimony of William Thorpe, pages 40–41:
- […] Filip of Repintoun whilis he was a chanoun of Leycetre, Nycol Herforde, dane Geffrey of Pikeringe, monke of Biland and a maistir dyuynyte, and Ioon Purueye, and manye other whiche weren holden rightwise men and prudent […]
- (please add an English translation of this quote)
- (with genitive) To be someone's; to be in someone's possession.
- (auxiliary) Forms the continuous present and perfect.
- c. 1275, Judas (Roud 2964, Child Ballad 23, Trinity College MS. B.14.39), folio 34, recto, lines 16-17; republished at Cambridge: Wren Digital Library (Trinity College), 29 May 2019:
- Sone ſo iudaſ of ſlepe waſ awake. / þritti platen of ſelu[er] from hym weren itake.
- As soon as Judas had awakened from his rest, / Thirty pieces of silver had been taken from him.
- (auxiliary) Forms the perfect tense with some intransitive verbs.
- (auxiliary) Forms various passive constructions.
- ben may be used elliptically if the subject, complement, or predicate is implicit.
- The perfect tense is usually formed with haven; see that entry for more.
|infinitive||(to) been, be|
|present tense||past tense|
|1st-person singular||am, be||was|
|2nd-person singular||art, bist||were|
|3rd-person singular||is, bith||was|
|plural1||aren, are, been, be||weren, were|
|subjunctive plural1||been, be|
|imperative plural||beth, be||—|
|participles||beynge, beende||been, be, ybeen, ybe|
1Sometimes used as a formal 2nd-person singular.
- “bẹ̄n, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
From Old French and Medieval Latin, from Arabic بَان (bān, “ben tree”).
- ben (moringa tree)
- English: ben
- “bēn, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
From Old English bēon, nominative plural form of bēo, from Proto-Germanic *bijōniz, nominative plural form of *bijǭ. Equivalent to bee + -en (plural suffix).
From Old English ġebēon, past participle of bēon (“to be”); equivalent to y- + be + -en (participial suffix).
- past participle of been (“to be”)
From (with the -þ replaced with an -n leveled in from the past and subjunctive) Old English bēoþ, present plural of bēon (“to be”), from Proto-Germanic *biunþi, third-person present plural of *beuną (“to be, become”).
- plural present indicative of been (“to be”)
The usual plural form of been is aren in the North, been in the Midlands, and beth in the South; sind also existed, especially early on, but was not the predominant form in any area.
- English: been (obsolete as the plural)
From Old English bēon, present subjunctive plural of bēon (“to be”), from Proto-Germanic *biwīn, third-person present subjunctive plural of *beuną (“to be, become”).
- plural present subjunctive of been (“to be”)
been (plural beenes or beenen)
- Alternative form of bene (“bean”)
From Middle English ybeen, from Old English ġebēon, past participle of bēon (“to be”).
- past participle of be
From Middle English bee, from Old English bēo, from Proto-Germanic *bijō.
- Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 25