American English

Definition of be- prefix from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1(in verbs) to make or treat someone or something as Don't belittle his achievements (= say they are not important). An older girl befriended me.
  2. 2(in adjectives ending in -ed) wearing or covered with heavily bejeweled fingers bespattered with mud
  3. 3(in verbs and adjectives ending in -ed) to cause something to be The ship was becalmed. The rebels besieged the fort.
  4. 4used to turn intransitive verbs (= without an object) into transitive verbs (= with an object) She is always bemoaning her lot in life.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: be-