Webster's Dictionary, 1913

Search Webster
Word starts with Word or meaning contains
Beetle-browed adjective [ Middle English bitelbrowed ; confer Middle English bitel , adj., sharp, projecting, noun , a beetle. See Beetle an insect.] Having prominent, overhanging brows; hence, lowering or sullen.

» The earlier meaning was, "Having bushy or overhanging eyebrows."

Beetle-headed adjective Dull; stupid. Shak.

Beetlehead noun [ Beetle a mallet + head .]
1. A stupid fellow; a blockhead. Sir W. Scott.

2. (Zoology) The black-bellied plover, or bullhead ( Squatarola helvetica ). See Plover .

Beetlestock noun The handle of a beetle.

Beetrave noun [ French betterave ; bette beet + rave radish.] The common beet ( Beta vulgaris ).

Beeve noun [ Formed from beeves , plural of beef .] A beef; a beef creature.

They would knock down the first beeve they met with.
W. Irving.

Beeves (bēvz) noun plural of Beef , the animal.

Befall transitive verb [ imperfect Befell ; past participle Befallen ; present participle & verbal noun Befalling .] [ Anglo-Saxon befeallan ; prefix be- + feallan to fall.] To happen to.

I beseech your grace that I may know
The worst that may befall me.
Shak.

Befall intransitive verb To come to pass; to happen.

I have revealed . . . the discord which befell .
Milton.

Befit transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Befitted ; present participle & verbal noun Befitting .] To be suitable to; to suit; to become.

That name best befits thee.
Milton.

Befitting adjective Suitable; proper; becoming; fitting.

Befittingly adverb In a befitting manner; suitably.

Beflatter transitive verb To flatter excessively.

Beflower transitive verb To besprinkle or scatter over with, or as with, flowers. Hobbes.

Befog transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Befogged ; present participle & verbal noun Befogging ]
1. To involve in a fog; -- mostly as a participle or part. adj.

2. Hence: To confuse; to mystify.

Befool transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Befooled ; present participle & verbal noun Befooling .] [ Middle English befolen ; prefix be- + fol fool.]
1. To fool; to delude or lead into error; to infatuate; to deceive.

This story . . . contrived to befool credulous men.
Fuller.

2. To cause to behave like a fool; to make foolish. "Some befooling drug." G. Eliot.

Before preposition [ Middle English beforen , biforen , before , Anglo-Saxon beforan ; prefix be- + foran , fore , before. See Be- , and Fore .]
1. In front of; preceding in space; ahead of; as, to stand before the fire; before the house.

His angel, who shall go
Before them in a cloud and pillar of fire.
Milton.

2. Preceding in time; earlier than; previously to; anterior to the time when; -- sometimes with the additional idea of purpose; in order that.

Before Abraham was, I am.
John viii. 58.

Before this treatise can become of use, two points are necessary.
Swift.

» Formerly before , in this sense, was followed by that . " Before that Philip called thee . . . I saw thee." John i. 48.

3. An advance of; farther onward, in place or time.

The golden age . . . is before us.
Carlyle.

4. Prior or preceding in dignity, order, rank, right, or worth; rather than.

He that cometh after me is preferred before me.
John i. 15.

The eldest son is before the younger in succession.
Johnson.

5. In presence or sight of; face to face with; facing.

Abraham bowed down himself before the people.
Gen. xxiii. 12.

Wherewith shall I come before the Lord?
Micah vi. 6.

6. Under the cognizance or jurisdiction of.

If a suit be begun before an archdeacon.
Ayliffe.

7. Open for; free of access to; in the power of.

The world was all before them where to choose.
Milton.

Before the mast (Nautical) , as a common sailor, -- because the sailors live in the forecastle, forward of the foremast. -- Before the wind (Nautical) , in the direction of the wind and by its impulse; having the wind aft.

Before adverb
1. On the fore part; in front, or in the direction of the front; -- opposed to in the rear .

The battle was before and behind.
2 Chron. xiii. 14.

2. In advance. "I come before to tell you." Shak.

3. In time past; previously; already.

You tell me, mother, what I knew before .
Dryden.

4. Earlier; sooner than; until then.

When the butt is out, we will drink water; not a drop before .
Shak.

» Before is often used in self-explaining compounds; as, before -cited, before -mentioned; before said.

Beforehand adverb [ Before + hand .]
1. In a state of anticipation ore preoccupation; in advance; -- often followed by with .

Agricola . . . resolves to be beforehand with the danger.
Milton.

The last cited author has been beforehand with me.
Addison.

2. By way of preparation, or preliminary; previously; aforetime.

They may be taught beforehand the skill of speaking.
Hooker.

Beforehand adjective In comfortable circumstances as regards property; forehanded.

Rich and much beforehand .
Bacon.

Beforetime adverb Formerly; aforetime.

[ They] dwelt in their tents, as beforetime .
2 Kings xiii. 5.

Befortune transitive verb To befall. [ Poetic]

I wish all good befortune you.
Shak.

Befoul transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Befouled ; present participle & verbal noun Befouling .] [ Confer Anglo-Saxon bef...lan ; prefix be- + f...lan to foul. See Foul , adjective ]
1. To make foul; to soil.

2. To entangle or run against so as to impede motion.

Befriend transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Befriended ; present participle & verbal noun Befriending .] To act as a friend to; to favor; to aid, benefit, or countenance.

By the darkness befriended .
Longfellow.

Befriendment noun Act of befriending. [ R.]

Befrill transitive verb To furnish or deck with a frill.

Befringe transitive verb To furnish with a fringe; to form a fringe upon; to adorn as with fringe. Fuller.

Befuddle transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Befuddled ] To becloud and confuse, as with liquor.

Beg noun [ Turk. beg , pronounced bay . Confer Bey , Begum .] A title of honor in Turkey and in some other parts of the East; a bey.

Beg transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Begged ; present participle & verbal noun Begging .] [ Middle English beggen , perhaps from Anglo-Saxon bedecian (akin to Goth. bedagwa beggar), biddan to ask. (Cf. Bid , transitive verb ); or confer beghard , beguin .]
1. To ask earnestly for; to entreat or supplicate for; to beseech.

I do beg your good will in this case.
Shak.

[ Joseph] begged the body of Jesus.
Matt. xxvii. 58.

Sometimes implying deferential and respectful, rather than earnest, asking; as, I beg your pardon; I beg leave to disagree with you.

2. To ask for as a charity, esp. to ask for habitually or from house to house.

Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
Ps. xxxvii. 25.

3. To make petition to; to entreat; as, to beg a person to grant a favor.

4. To take for granted; to assume without proof.

5. (Old Law) To ask to be appointed guardian for, or to ask to have a guardian appointed for.

Else some will beg thee, in the court of wards.
Harrington.

Hence: To beg (one) for a fool , to take him for a fool .

I beg to , is an elliptical expression for I beg leave to ; as, I beg to inform you. -- To beg the question , to assume that which was to be proved in a discussion, instead of adducing the proof or sustaining the point by argument. -- To go a-begging , a figurative phrase to express the absence of demand for something which elsewhere brings a price; as, grapes are so plentiful there that they go a- begging .

Syn. -- To Beg , Ask , Request . To ask (not in the sense of inquiring) is the generic term which embraces all these words. To request is only a polite mode of asking. To beg , in its original sense, was to ask with earnestness, and implied submission, or at least deference. At present, however, in polite life, beg has dropped its original meaning, and has taken the place of both ask and request , on the ground of its expressing more of deference and respect. Thus, we beg a person's acceptance of a present; we beg him to favor us with his company; a tradesman begs to announce the arrival of new goods, etc. Crabb remarks that, according to present usage, "we can never talk of asking a person's acceptance of a thing, or of asking him to do us a favor." This can be more truly said of usage in England than in America.

Beg intransitive verb To ask alms or charity, especially to ask habitually by the wayside or from house to house; to live by asking alms.

I can not dig; to beg I am ashamed.
Luke xvi. 3.

Bega noun See Bigha .

Begem transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Begemmed ; present participle & verbal noun Begemming .] To adorn with gems, or as with gems.

Begemmed with dewdrops.
Sir W. Scott.

Those lonely realms bright garden isles begem .
Shelley.

Beget transitive verb [ imperfect Begot (Archaic) Begat ; past participle Begot , Begotten ; present participle & verbal noun Begetting .] [ Middle English bigiten , bigeten , to get, beget, Anglo-Saxon begitan to get; prefix be- + gitan . See Get , transitive verb ]
1. To procreate, as a father or sire; to generate; -- commonly said of the father.

Yet they a beauteous offspring shall beget .
Milton.

2. To get (with child.) [ Obsolete] Shak.

3. To produce as an effect; to cause to exist.

Love is begot by fancy.
Granville.

Begetter noun One who begets; a father.

Beggable adjective Capable of being begged.

Beggar noun [ Middle English beggere , from beg .]
1. One who begs; one who asks or entreats earnestly, or with humility; a petitioner.

2. One who makes it his business to ask alms.

3. One who is dependent upon others for support; -- a contemptuous or sarcastic use.

4. One who assumes in argument what he does not prove. Abp. Tillotson.

Beggar transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Beggared ; present participle & verbal noun Beggaring .]
1. To reduce to beggary; to impoverish; as, he had beggared himself. Milton.

2. To cause to seem very poor and inadequate.

It beggared all description.
Shak.

Beggar's lice (Botany) The prickly fruit or seed of certain plants (as some species of Echinospermum and Cynoglossum ) which cling to the clothing of those who brush by them.

Beggar's ticks The bur marigold ( Bidens ) and its achenes, which are armed with barbed awns, and adhere to clothing and fleeces with unpleasant tenacity.

Beggarhood noun The condition of being a beggar; also, the class of beggars.

Beggarism noun Beggary. [ R.]

Beggarliness noun The quality or state of being beggarly; meanness.

Beggarly adjective
1. In the condition of, or like, a beggar; suitable for a beggar; extremely indigent; poverty-stricken; mean; poor; contemptible. "A bankrupt, beggarly fellow." South. "A beggarly fellowship." Swift. " Beggarly elements." Gal. iv. 9.

2. Produced or occasioned by beggary. [ Obsolete]

Beggarly sins, that is, those sins which idleness and beggary usually betray men to; such as lying, flattery, stealing, and dissimulation.
Jer. Taylor.

Beggarly adverb In an indigent, mean, or despicable manner; in the manner of a beggar.

Beggary noun [ Middle English beggerie . See Beggar , noun ]
1. The act of begging; the state of being a beggar; mendicancy; extreme poverty.

2. Beggarly appearance. [ R.]

The freedom and the beggary of the old studio.
Thackeray.

Syn. -- Indigence; want; penury; mendicancy.

Beggary adjective Beggarly. [ Obsolete] B. Jonson.

Beggestere noun [ Beg + - ster .] A beggar. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Beghard, Beguard noun [ French bégard , béguard ; confer German beghard , Late Latin Beghardus , Begihardus , Begardus . Prob. from the root of beguine + -ard or -hard . See Beguine .] (Eccl. Hist.) One of an association of religious laymen living in imitation of the Beguines. They arose in the thirteenth century, were afterward subjected to much persecution, and were suppressed by Innocent X. in 1650. Called also Beguins .

Begild transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Begilded or Begilt ] To gild. B. Jonson.