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am

[am; unstressed uh m, m] /æm; unstressed əm, m/
verb
1.
1st person singular present indicative of be.
Origin
before 900; Middle English; Old English am, eam, eom; cognate with Gothic im, Old Norse, Armenian em, Old Irish am, Greek eimí, Hittite, early Lithuanian esmi, OCS yesmĭ, Albanian jam, Sanskrit asmi < Indo-European *Hes- be + *-m 1st person singular + *-i now; cf. is

AM

1.
Electronics. amplitude modulation: a method of impressing a signal on a radio carrier wave by varying its amplitude.
2.
Radio. a system of broadcasting by means of amplitude modulation.
3.
of, pertaining to, or utilizing such a system.
Compare FM.
4.
Asian male.
Origin
1935-40

Am

Symbol, Chemistry
1.

Am.

1.
2.

A/m

1.
ampere per meter.

A.M.

1.
a.m.
2.
Master of Arts.
Origin
< Latin Artium Magister

a.m.

1.
before noon.
2.
the period from midnight to noon, especially the period of daylight prior to noon:
Shall we meet Saturday a.m.?
3.
a morning newspaper, sometimes issued shortly before midnight.
Compare p.m
Origin
< Latin ante merīdiem
Usage note
The abbreviation a.m. for Latin ante meridiem, meaning “before noon,” refers to the period from midnight until noon. One minute before noon is 11:59 a.m. One minute after noon is 12:01 p.m. Many people distinguish between noon and midnight by saying 12 noon and 12 midnight. Expressions combining a.m. with morning (6 a.m. in the morning) and p.m. with afternoon, evening, or night (9 p.m. at night) are redundant and occur most often in casual speech and writing. Both a.m. and p.m. sometimes appear in capital letters, especially in printed matter.

be

[bee; unstressed bee, bi] /bi; unstressed bi, bɪ/
verb (used without object), present singular 1st person am, 2nd are or (Archaic) art, 3rd is, present plural are; past singular 1st person was, 2nd were or (Archaic) wast or wert, 3rd was, past plural were; present subjunctive be; past subjunctive singular 1st person were, 2nd were or (Archaic) wert, 3rd were; past subjunctive plural were; past participle been; present participle being.
1.
to exist or live:
Shakespeare's “To be or not to be” is the ultimate question.
2.
to take place; happen; occur:
The wedding was last week.
3.
to occupy a place or position:
The book is on the table.
4.
to continue or remain as before:
Let things be.
5.
to belong; attend; befall:
May good fortune be with you.
6.
(used as a copula to connect the subject with its predicate adjective, or predicate nominative, in order to describe, identify, or amplify the subject):
Martha is tall. John is president. This is she.
7.
(used as a copula to introduce or form interrogative or imperative sentences):
Is that right? Be quiet! Don't be facetious.
auxiliary verb, present singular 1st person am, 2nd are or (Archaic) art, 3rd is, present plural are; past singular 1st person was, 2nd were or (Archaic) wast or wert, 3rd was, past plural were; present subjunctive be; past subjunctive singular 1st person were, 2nd were or (Archaic) wert, 3rd were; past subjunctive plural were; past participle been; present participle being.
8.
(used with the present participle of another verb to form the progressive tense):
I am waiting.
9.
(used with the present participle or infinitive of the principal verb to indicate future action):
She is visiting there next week. He is to see me today.
10.
(used with the past participle of another verb to form the passive voice):
The date was fixed. It must be done.
11.
(used in archaic or literary constructions with some intransitive verbs to form the perfect tense):
He is come. Agamemnon to the wars is gone.
Origin
before 900; Middle English been, Old English bēon (bēo- (akin to Old Frisian, Old High German bim, German bin, Old Saxon bium, biom (I) am, Old English, Old High German, Old Saxon būan, Old Norse būa reside, Latin fuī (I) have been, Greek phy- grow, become, Old Irish boí (he) was, Sanskrit bhávati (he) becomes, is, Lithuanian búti to be, OCS byti, Persian būd was)) + -n infinitive suffix. See am, is, are1, was, were
Can be confused
be, bee.
Usage note
See me.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for am

am1

verb (æm; unstressed) (əm)
1.
(used with I) a form of the present tense (indicative mood) of be1
Word Origin
Old English eam; related to Old Norse em, Gothic im, Old High German bim, Latin sum, Greek eimi, Sanskrit asmi

am2

abbreviation
1.
See AM (sense 5)
2.
See a.m.

am3

abbreviation
1.
Armenia

Am

Chemical symbol
1.
americium

AM

abbreviation
1.
associate member
2.
Assembly Member (of the National Assembly of Wales)
3.
Albert Medal
4.
(US) Master of Arts
5.
Also am. amplitude modulation
6.
See a.m.
7.
Member of the Order of Australia
8.
Armenia (international car registration)

a.m.

abbreviation (indicating the time period from midnight to midday)
1.
ante meridiem Compare p.m.
Word Origin
Latin: before noon

Am.

abbreviation
1.
America(n)

A/M

abbreviation (in Canada)
1.
Air Marshal

be1

/biː; unstressed /
verb (intransitive) (pres. sing. 1st pers) am (2nd pers) are (3rd pers) is (present:pl) are (past:singular:1st_person) was (2nd pers) were (3rd pers) was (past:plural) were (pres. part) being (past part) been
1.
to have presence in the realm of perceived reality; exist; live: I think, therefore I am, not all that is can be understood
2.
(used in the perfect or past perfect tenses only) to pay a visit; go: have you been to Spain?
3.
to take place; occur: my birthday was last Thursday
4.
(copula) used as a linking verb between the subject of a sentence and its noun or adjective complement or complementing phrase. In this case be expresses the relationship of either essential or incidental equivalence or identity (John is a man; John is a musician) or specifies an essential or incidental attribute (honey is sweet; Susan is angry). It is also used with an adverbial complement to indicate a relationship of location in space or time (Bill is at the office; the dance is on Saturday)
5.
(takes a present participle) forms the progressive present tense: the man is running
6.
(takes a past participle) forms the passive voice of all transitive verbs and (archaically) certain intransitive ones: a good film is being shown on television tonight, I am done
7.
(takes an infinitive) expresses intention, expectation, supposition, or obligation: the president is to arrive at 9.30, you are not to leave before I say so
8.
(takes a past participle) forms the perfect or past perfect tense of certain intransitive verbs of motion, such as go or come: the last train is gone
9.
be that as it may, the facts concerning (something) are of no importance
Word Origin
Old English bēon; related to Old High German bim am, Latin fui I have been, Greek phuein to bring forth, Sanskrit bhavati he is

be2

abbreviation
1.
Belgium

Be

Chemical symbol
1.
beryllium

BE

abbreviation
1.
bill of exchange
2.
(in the US) Board of Education
3.
Bachelor of Education
4.
Bachelor of Engineering

abbreviation
1.
Baumé
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for am
v.

Old English eom "to be, to remain," (Mercian eam, Northumbrian am), from PIE *esmi- (cf. Old Norse emi, Gothic im, Hittite esmi, Old Church Slavonic jesmi, Lithuanian esmi), from root *es-, the S-ROOT, which also yielded Greek esti-, Latin est, Sanskrit as-, and German ist.

In Old English it existed only in present tense, all other forms being expressed in the W-BASE (see were, was). This cooperative verb is sometimes referred to by linguists as *es-*wes-. Until the distinction broke down 13c., *es-*wes- tended to express "existence," with beon meaning something closer to "come to be" (see be).

Old English am had two plural forms: 1. sind/sindon, sie and 2. earon/aron The s- form (also used in the subjunctive) fell from use in English in the early 13c. (though it continues in German sind, the 3rd person plural of "to be") and was replaced by forms of be, but aron (aren, arn, are, from Proto-Germanic *ar-, probably a variant of PIE root *es-) continued, and as am and be merged it encroached on some uses that previously had belonged to be. By the early 1500s it had established its place in standard English. Art became archaic in the 1800s.

be

v.

Old English beon, beom, bion "be, exist, come to be, become, happen," from Proto-Germanic *biju- "I am, I will be." This "b-root" is from PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow, come into being," and in addition to the words in English it yielded German present first and second person singular (bin, bist, from Old High German bim "I am," bist "thou art"), Latin perfective tenses of esse (fui "I was," etc.), Old Church Slavonic byti "be," Greek phu- "become," Old Irish bi'u "I am," Lithuanian bu'ti "to be," Russian byt' "to be," etc. It also is behind Sanskrit bhavah "becoming," bhavati "becomes, happens," bhumih "earth, world."

The modern verb to be in its entirety represents the merger of two once-distinct verbs, the "b-root" represented by be and the am/was verb, which was itself a conglomerate. Roger Lass ("Old English") describes the verb as "a collection of semantically related paradigm fragments," while Weekley calls it "an accidental conglomeration from the different Old English dial[ect]s." It is the most irregular verb in Modern English and the most common. Collective in all Germanic languages, it has eight different forms in Modern English:

BE (infinitive, subjunctive, imperative)
AM (present 1st person singular)
ARE (present 2nd person singular and all plural)
IS (present 3rd person singular)
WAS (past 1st and 3rd persons singular)
WERE (past 2nd person singular, all plural; subjunctive)
BEING (progressive & present participle; gerund)
BEEN (perfect participle).

The paradigm in Old English was:

SING. PL.
1st pres. ic eom
ic beo
we sind(on)
we beoð
2nd pres. þu eart
þu bist
ge sind(on)
ge beoð
3rd pres. he is
he bið
hie sind(on)
hie beoð
1st pret. ic wæs we wæron
2nd pret. þu wære ge waeron
3rd pret. heo wæs hie wæron
1st pret. subj. ic wære we wæren
2nd pret. subj. þu wære ge wæren
3rd pret. subj. Egcferð wære hie wæren


The "b-root" had no past tense in Old English, but often served as future tense of am/was. In 13c. it took the place of the infinitive, participle and imperative forms of am/was. Later its plural forms (we beth, ye ben, they be) became standard in Middle English and it made inroads into the singular (I be, thou beest, he beth), but forms of are claimed this turf in the 1500s and replaced be in the plural. For the origin and evolution of the am/was branches of this tangle, see am and was.
That but this blow Might be the be all, and the end all. ["Macbeth" I.vii.5]

a.m.

also AM, type of radio wave broadcast; see amplitude.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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am in Medicine

Am
The symbol for the element americium.

Be
The symbol for the element beryllium.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
am in Science
Am  
The symbol for americium.
AM  
Abbreviation of amplitude modulation
Be  
The symbol for beryllium.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for am

am

Related Terms

pro-am


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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am in Technology

1. Amplitude Modulation.
2. A program by Doug Lenat to discover concepts in elementary mathematics. AM was written in 1976 in Interlisp. From 100 fundamental concepts and about 250 heuristics it discovered several important mathematical concepts including subsets, disjoint sets, sets with the same number of elements, and numbers. It worked by filling slots in frames maintaining an agenda of resource-limited prioritised tasks.
AM's successor was Eurisko.
(http://homepages.enterprise.net/hibou/aicourse/lenat.txt).
(1999-04-19)

networking
The country code for Armenia.
Used for the vanity domain "i.am".
(1999-01-27)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Related Abbreviations for am

am

  1. Amharic
  2. ammeter

Am

  1. americium
  2. Amos

AM

  1. amplitude modulation
  2. Latin Artium Magister (Master of Arts)
  3. Asian male

Am.

  1. America
  2. American

a.m.

Latin ante meridiem (before noon)

A.M.

  1. airmail
  2. Latin anno mundi (in the year of the world)
  3. Latin ante meridiem (before noon)

be

Belorusian

Be

  1. beryllium
  2. excess burst

BE

  1. Bachelor of Education
  2. Bachelor of Engineering
  3. barium enema
  4. board eligible
  5. Board of Education

Baumé scale
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with am
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for am

be

any of the hereditary occupational groups in early Japan (c. 5th-mid-7th century), established to provide specific economic services and a continuous inflow of revenue for the uji, or lineage groups. Each be was thus subsidiary to one of the uji into which all of Japanese society was then divided, and each kakibe, or worker, was effectively owned by the chief of his uji. Most be were agricultural units, producing rice for themselves and their superiors, but some engaged in crafts, fishing, or specific court functions. Those that acted as scribes, interpreters, diviners, or reciters for the court were national organizations; most other types of be were local

Learn more about be with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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4
5
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