Dictionary: BE-FALL' – BE-FRIEND'ING

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BE-FALL', v.i.

To happen; to come to pass. I have reveal'd this discord which befell. – Milton. To befall of, is not legitimate.

BE-FALL', v.t. [pret. befell; pp. befallen. Sax. befællan, of be and fall.]

To happen to; to occur to; as, let me know the worst that can befall me. It usually denotes ill. It is generally transitive in form, but there seems to be an ellipsis of to, and to sometimes follows it.


Fallen on.


That which befalls; an event.


Happening to; occurring to; coming to pass.

BE-FELL', v. [pret. of Befall.]

BE-FIT', v.t. [be and fit.]

To suit; to be suitable to; to become. That name best befits thee. – Milton.

BE-FIT'TING, ppr. [or adj.]

Suiting; becoming.



BE-FOAM', v.t. [be and foam.]

To cover with foam. [Little used.]


Involved in a fog. – Irving.

BE-FOOL', v.t. [be and fool.]

To fool; to infatuate; to delude or lead into error. Men befool themselves. – South.


Fooled; deceived; led into error.


Fooling; making a fool of; deceiving; infatuating.

BE-FORE', adv.

  1. In time preceding. You tell me what I knew before. – Dryden.
  2. In time preceding, to the present, or to this time; hitherto; as, tumults then arose which before were unknown.
  3. Further onward in place, in progress, or in front. Reaching forth to those things which are before. – Phil. iii.
  4. In front; on the fore part. The battle was before and behind. – 2 Chron. xiii. In some of the examples of the use of before, which Johnson places under the adverb, the word is a preposition governing a sentence; as, “Before the hills appeared.” This is the real construction, however overlooked or misunderstood.

BE-FORE', prep. [be and fore, that is, by fore, near the fore part. Sax. before, or beforan, retained by Chaucer in beforn.]

  1. In front; on the side with the face, at any distance; used of persons. – Milton.
  2. In presence of, with the idea of power, authority, respect. Abraham bowed before the people of the land. – Gen. xxiii. Wherewithal shall I come before the Lord? – Micah vi.
  3. In sight of; as, before the face.
  4. In the presence of, noting cognizance, or jurisdiction. Both parties shall come before the judge. – Ex. xxii.
  5. In the power of, noting the right or ability to choose or possess; free to the choice. The world was all before them. – Milton. My land is before thee. – Gen. xx.
  6. In front of any object; as, before the house, before the fire.
  7. Preceding in time. Before I was afflicted, I went astray. – Ps. cxix. Before Abraham was, I am. – John viii. Here the preposition has a sentence following for an object.
  8. In preference to. And he set Ephraim before Manasseh. – Gen. xlviii. Poverty is desirable before torments. – Taylor.
  9. Superior; preceding in dignity. He that cometh after me is preferred before me, for he was before me. – John i.
  10. Prior to; having prior right; preceding in order; as, the eldest son is before the younger in succession.
  11. Previous to; in previous order; in order to. Before this treatise can become of use, two points are necessary. – Swift. [See No. 7.]
  12. Before the wind, is to move in the direction of the wind by its impulse.


Cited in a preceding part.

BE-FORE'HAND, adv. [before and hand.]

  1. In a state of anticipation or preoccupation; often followed by with; as, you are beforehand with me.
  2. Antecedently; by way of preparation, or preliminary; aforetime. – Matth. xiii. 1 Tim. v.
  3. In a state of accumulation, so as that more has been received than expended. A man is beforehand. In this use it is more properly an adjective.
  4. At first; before any thing is done. – L'Estrange.


Mentioned before.

BE-FORE'TIME, adv. [before and time.]

Formerly; of old time. – 1 Sam. 9. Josh. xx. [Obs.]

BE-FOR'TUNE, v.t. [be and fortune.]

To happen to; to betide. – Shak.

BE-FOUL', v.t. [Sax. befylan, be and foul.]

To make foul; to soil.

BE-FRIEND', v.t. [befrend'; be and friend.]

To favor; to act as a friend to; to countenance, aid, or benefit. – Shak.


Favored; countenanced.


Favoring; assisting as a friend; showing kindness to.