follow Dictionary.com

Today's Word of the Day means...

is

[iz] /ɪz/
verb
1.
3rd person singular present indicative of be.
Idioms
2.
as is. as1 (def 25).
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Dutch is, Old Norse es, er, German, Gothic ist, Latin est, Greek estí, OCS jestĭ, Sanskrit asti

is-

1.
variant of iso- before a vowel:
isallobar.

Is.

1.
2.
3.
isle.

is.

1.
2.
isle.

I, i

[ahy] /aɪ/
noun, plural I's or Is, i's or is.
1.
the ninth letter of the English alphabet, a vowel.
2.
any spoken sound represented by the letter I or i, as in big, nice, or ski.
3.
something having the shape of an I.
4.
a written or printed representation of the letter I or i.
5.
a device, as a printer's type, for reproducing the letter I or i.

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.

I

[ahy] /aɪ/
pronoun, nominative I, possessive my or mine, objective me; plural nominative we, possessive our or ours, objective us.
1.
the nominative singular pronoun, used by a speaker in referring to himself or herself.
noun, plural I's.
2.
(used to denote the narrator of a literary work written in the first person singular).
3.
Metaphysics. the ego.
Origin
before 900; Middle English ik, ich, i; Old English ic, ih; cognate with German ich, Old Norse ek, Latin ego, Greek egṓ, OCS azŭ, Lithuanian aš, Sanskrit ahám
Usage note
See me.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for is
  • It just took this strange beginning to cause it to be what it is.
  • Naturally, only the person who created the rule will initially know what it is.
  • The temperature is somewhat moderate considering how far north the area is.
  • The less fp that are indicated, the higher the specificity is.
  • Knowing what the name means is part of knowing who the dwarf is.
  • It essentially makes the human rights situation worse than it already is.
  • It is the reality of all that is, and the foundation of all that is.
  • If you listened very carefully, i have already stated to you what the third word is.
  • If you have listened carefully, i have already told you what it is.
  • Treatment depends on whether any symptoms are present, and what the underlying cause is.
British Dictionary definitions for is

is1

/ɪz/
verb
1.
used with he, she, it, and with singular nouns a form of the present tense (indicative mood) of be1
Word Origin
Old English; compare Old Norse es, German ist, Latin est, Greek esti

is2

abbreviation
1.
Iceland

IS

abbreviation
1.
Iceland (international car registration)
Word Origin
Icelandic ĺsland

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

i

//
noun (pl) i's, I's, Is
1.
the ninth letter and third vowel of the modern English alphabet
2.
any of several speech sounds represented by this letter, in English as in bite or hit
3.
  1. something shaped like an I
  2. (in combination) an I-beam
4.
dot the i's and cross the t's, to pay meticulous attention to detail

i

symbol
1.
the imaginary number √–1 Also called j

I1

//
pronoun
1.
(subjective) refers to the speaker or writer
Word Origin
C12: reduced form of Old English ic; compare Old Saxon ik, Old High German ih, Sanskrit ahám

I2

symbol
1.
(chem) iodine
2.
(physics) current
3.
(physics) isospin
4.
(logic) a particular affirmative categorial statement, such as some men are married, often symbolized as SiP Compare A, E, O1
5.
(Roman numeral) one See Roman numerals
abbreviation
6.
Italy (international car registration)
Word Origin
(for sense 4) from Latin (aff)i(rmo) I affirm

is-

combining form
1.
variant of iso- isentropic

Is.

abbreviation
1.
(Bible) Also Isa. Isaiah
2.
Island(s) or Isle(s)
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for is
I
12c. shortening of O.E. ic, first person sing. nom. pronoun, from P.Gmc. *ekan (cf. O.Fris. ik, O.N. ek, Norw. eg, Dan. jeg, O.H.G. ih, Ger. ich, Goth. ik), from PIE *ego(m) (cf. Skt. aham, Hitt. uk, L. ego, Gk. ego, Rus. ja). Reduced to i by 1137 in northern England, it began to be capitalized c.1250 to mark it as a distinct word and avoid misreading in handwritten manuscripts.
"The reason for writing I is ... the orthographic habit in the middle ages of using a 'long i' (that is, j or I) whenever the letter was isolated or formed the last letter of a group; the numeral 'one' was written j or I (and three iij, etc.), just as much as the pronoun." [Otto Jespersen, "Growth and Structure of the English Language," p.233]
The form ich or ik, especially before vowels, lingered in northern England until c.1400 and survived in southern dialects until 18c. The dot on the "small" letter -i- began to appear in 11c. L. manuscripts, to distinguish the letter from the stroke of another letter (such as -m- or -n-). Originally a diacritic, it was reduced to a dot with the introduction of Roman type fonts. The basic word for "I" in Japanese is watakushi, but it is not much used. Words that boys usually use are boku (polite) or ore (OH-ray), a rougher word, which can be rude depending on the situation. Girls usually use atashi (a feminine-sounding word) or the neutral watashi, but a tomboy might use boku like boys do.
be
O.E. beon, beom, bion "be, exist, come to be, become," from P.Gmc. *beo-, *beu-. This "b-root" is from PIE base *bheu-, *bhu- "grow, come into being, become," and in addition to the words in English it yielded German present first and second person sing. (bin, bist, from O.H.G. bim "I am," bist "thou art"), L. perf. tenses of esse (fui "I was," etc.), O.C.S. byti "be," Gk. phu- "become," O.Ir. bi'u "I am," Lith. bu'ti "to be," Rus. byt' "to be," etc. It also is behind Skt. bhavah "becoming," bhavati "becomes, happens," bhumih "earth, world."

The modern verb 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 Mod.E. 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 O.E. 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 wæswe wæron
2nd pret.þu wærege waeron
3rd pret.heo wæshie wæron
1st pret. subj.ic wærewe wæren
2nd pret. subj.þu wærege wæren
3rd pret. subj.Egcferð wærehie wæren


The "b-root" had no past tense in O.E., 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 M.E. 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]
is
O.E. is, from Gmc. stem *es- (cf. O.H.G., Ger., Goth. ist, O.N. es, er), from PIE *es-ti- (cf. Skt. asti, Gk. esti, L. est, Lith. esti, O.C.S. jesti), from base *es- "to be." O.E. lost the final -t-. See be.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
is in Medicine

Be
The symbol for the element beryllium.

I

  1. The symbol for the element iodine.

  2. iThe symbol for current.

is- pref.
Variant of iso-.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
is in Science
Be  
The symbol for beryllium.
i
  (ī)   
The number whose square is equal to -1. Numbers expressed in terms of i are called imaginary or complex numbers.
I  
  1. The symbol for electric current.

  2. The symbol for iodine.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
is in Technology

networking
The country code for Iceland.
(1999-01-27)

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

is

  1. Icelandic
  2. Introduced in Senate

Is

Isaiah

IS

  1. Iceland (international vehicle ID)
  2. information services

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

i

imaginary unit

I

  1. current
  2. ice
  3. incomplete
  4. institute
  5. intelligence
  6. interstate
  7. iodine
  8. isospin
  9. Italy (international vehicle ID)
  10. 1

Is.

  1. island
  2. isle
  3. Israel
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with is
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for is

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.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for is

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for is

2
2
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with is