have bee our bonnet


1 [bee]
any hymenopterous insect of the superfamily Apoidea, including social and solitary species of several families, as the bumblebees, honeybees, etc.
the common honeybee, Apis mellifera.
a community social gathering in order to perform some task, engage in a contest, etc.: a sewing bee; a spelling bee; a husking bee.
have a bee in one's bonnet,
to be obsessed with one idea.
to have eccentric or fanciful ideas or schemes: Our aunt obviously has a bee in her bonnet, but we're very fond of her.
put the bee on, Informal. to try to obtain money from, as for a loan or donation: My brother just put the bee on me for another $10.
the bee's knees, Older Slang. (especially in the 1920s) a person or thing that is wonderful, great, or marvelous: Her new roadster is simply the bee's knees.

before 1000; Middle English be(e); Old English bīo, bēo; cognate with Dutch bij, Old Saxon bī, bini, Old High German bīa, bini (German Biene), Old Norse bȳ; with other suffixes, Lithuanian bìtė, OPruss bitte, OCS bĭchela, Old Irish bech; *bhi- is a North European stem with the same distribution as wax1, apple; put the bee on probably an allusion to sting in sense “dupe, cheat”

beelike, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bee1 (biː)
1.  bumblebee See also mason bee any hymenopterous insect of the superfamily Apoidea, which includes social forms such as the honeybee and solitary forms such as the carpenter beeRelated: apian
2.  busy bee a person who is industrious or has many things to do
3.  have a bee in one's bonnet to be preoccupied or obsessed with an idea
Related: apian
[Old English bīo; related to Old Norse , Old High German bīa, Dutch bij, Swedish bi]

bee2 (biː)
1.  a social gathering for a specific purpose, as to carry out a communal task or hold competitions: quilting bee
2.  See spelling bee
[C18: perhaps from dialect bean neighbourly help, from Old English bēn boon]

bee3 (biː)
nautical a small sheave with one cheek removed and the pulley and other cheek fastened flat to a boom or another spar, used for reeving outhauls or stays
[Old English bēag; related to Old High German boug ring, Old Norse bogi a bow]

abbreviation for
Black Economic Empowerment: a government policy aimed at encouraging and supporting shareholding by black people

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. beo, from P.Gmc. *bion (cf. O.N. by, O.H.G. bia, M.Du. bie), possibly from PIE base *bhi- "quiver." Used metaphorically for "busy worker" since 1530s. Sense of "meeting of neighbors to unite their labor for the benefit of one of their number," 1769, Amer.Eng., is from comparison to the social activity
of the insect; this was extended to other senses (e.g. spelling bee, first attested 1809).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
Bachelor of Electrical Engineering
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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Bible Dictionary

Bee definition

First mentioned in Deut. 1:44. Swarms of bees, and the danger of their attacks, are mentioned in Ps. 118:12. Samson found a "swarm of bees" in the carcass of a lion he had slain (Judg. 14:8). Wild bees are described as laying up honey in woods and in clefts of rocks (Deut. 32:13; Ps. 81:16). In Isa. 7:18 the "fly" and the "bee" are personifications of the Egyptians and Assyrians, the inveterate enemies of Israel.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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