1. The state or quality of having existence: technical advances that have only recently come into being. See Synonyms at existence.
2. The totality of all things that exist: theologians who hold that the mind of God is the source of all being.
a. A person: "The artist after all is a solitary being" (Virginia Woolf).
b. An individual form of life; an organism: "We [humans] are the only beings who are aware that we shall die" (Seyyed Hossein Nasr).
c. An imaginary, conjectural, or supernatural creature: extraterrestrial beings.
a. All the qualities constituting one that exists; the essence: the very being of human nature.
b. One's basic or essential nature: "[My grandfather's] face, words and gestures are a permanent part of my being" (Duane Nitatum).
Chiefly Southern US, Upper Southern US, & New England
Because; since. Often used with as or that.
Usage Note: Being that is sometimes used as a synonym for considering that or seeing that to introduce a clause, as in Being that it's a holiday, I let the kids sleep late. While this construction has seen widespread use in American regional English, the Usage Panel does not much care for it in more standard contexts. In our 2006 survey, 71 percent of the Panel found the above example unacceptable. Some 83 percent rejected the sentence Being that he has never attended law school, it's strange that he's giving legal advice.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.