from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Completely; thoroughly; excessively. Used as an intensive: bemuse.
  • On; around; over: besmear.
  • About; to: bespeak.
  • Used to form transitive verbs from nouns, adjectives, and intransitive verbs, as:
  • To make; cause to become: bedim.
  • To affect, cover, or provide: bespectacled.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • By, near, next to, around, close to.
  • Around; about.
  • About, regarding, concerning, over.
  • On, upon, at, to, in contact with something.
  • Off, away, over, across
  • As an intensifier; i.e. thoroughly, excessively; completely; utterly.
  • All around; about; abundantly; all over.
  • Forming verbs derived from nouns or adjectives, usually with the sense of "to make, become, or cause to be".
  • Used to intensify adjectives meaning "adorned with something" often those with the suffix -ed.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To intensify the meaning.
  • To render an intransitive verb transitive.
  • To make the action of a verb particular or definite.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English bi-, be-, from Old English be-, bi-; see ambhi in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English be-, bi-, from Old English be- ("be-"), from Proto-Germanic *bi- (“be-”), from Proto-Germanic *bi (“near, by”). See by. Cognate with Dutch be- ("be-"), German be- ("be-"), Swedish be- ("be-"). More at by.


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