Dictionary: BE-HIND' – BE-KNOW'

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BE-HIND', prep. [Sax. behindan, of be and hindan, behind; Goth. hindar, beyond, behind; hindar-leithan, to pass, præterire; Ger. hinter.]

  1. At the back of another; as, to ride behind a horseman.
  2. On the back part, at any distance; in the rear; as, to walk behind another.
  3. Remaining; left after the departure of another, whether by removing to a distance, or by death; as, a man leaves his servant behind him, or his estate at his decease.
  4. Left at a distance, in progress or improvement; as, one student is behind another in mathematics.
  5. Inferior to another in dignity and excellence. For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. – 2 Cor. xi.
  6. On the side opposite the front or nearest part, or opposite to that which fronts a person; on the other side; as, behind a bed; behind a hill; behind a house, tree, or rock. Behind the back, in Scripture, signifies, out of notice, or regard; overlooked; disregarded. They cast thy laws behind their backs. – Neh. xix. Is. xxxviii.

BE-HIND'-HAND, a. [behind and hand.]

In arrear; in an exhausted state; in a state in which rent or profit has been anticipated, and expenditures precede the receipt of funds to supply them. In popular use, a state of poverty, in which the means of living are not adequate to the end. Also, in a state of backwardness, in which a particular business has been delayed beyond the proper season for performing it; as, he is behindhand in his business. Behindhand with, is behind in progress; not upon equal terms in forwardness; as, to be behindhand with the fashionable world. This word is really an adjective, as it is applied to the person rather than to the verb; but like adrift, aloft, ashamed, and several other words, never precedes the noun. Shakspeare's “behindhand slackness,” therefore, according to present usage, is not a legitimate phrase.

BE-HOLD', v.i.

  1. To look; to direct the eyes to an object. And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne, a lamb, as it had been slain. – Rev. v.
  2. To fix the attention upon an object; to attend; to direct or fix the mind. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. – Rev. iii. This word is much used in this manner for exciting attention, or admiration. It is in the imperative mode, expressing command, or exhortation; and by no means a mere exclamation.

BE-HOLD', v.t. [pret. and pp. beheld. Sax. behealdan, beheoldan, gehealdan, gehaldan, from healdan, to hold. The sense is, to hold, to have in sight, from straining, restraining. In Saxon, the verb signifies not only to look or see, but to guard; so in Latin, observo, from servo, to keep. This explication leads us to an understanding of the participle beholden, which retains the primitive sense of the verb, bound, obliged. The Germans retain the original sense in behalten, to hold or keep; as the Dutch do in gehouden, held, bound; and the Danes in beholder, to keep, retain; behold, a retreat, refuge, reservation. See Observe and Regard.]

  1. To fix the eyes upon; to see with attention; to observe with care. Behold the lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. – John i.
  2. In a less intensive sense, to look upon; to see. When he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. – Num. xxi.

BE-HOLD'EN, pp. [or a. beho'ldn; The participle of behold, to keep, guard, or bind. See Behold.]

Obliged; bound in gratitude; indebted. Little are we beholden to your love. – Shak.


Ono who beholds; a spectator; one who looks upon, or sees.


  1. Fixing the eyes upon; looking on; seeing.
  2. Fixing the attention; regarding with attention.
  3. Obligation. [Not used.] – Carew.
  4. Obliged. [A mistaken use of the word for beholden.] – Bacon on Love.


The state of being obliged. – Donne. Sidney. [An error, and not in use.]

BE-HON'EY, v.t.

To sweeten with honey. – Sherwood.

BE-HOOF', n. [Sax. behofian, to want, to be necessary, to be expedient; hence, to be a duty; D. behoeven, to need; Ger. behuf, behoof; Dan. behöver, to need, to lack; behov, need, necessity, sufficiency, maintenance, that is, things needed; Sw. behof, need; behofwa, to need.]

  1. Radically, need, necessity; whence, by an easy analogy, the word came to signify that which supplies want. Hence, in present usage,
  2. That which is advantageous; advantage; profit; benefit. No mean recompense it brings to your behoof. – Milton.


Needful; profitable.

BE-HOOVE', v.t. [behoov'; Sax. behofian, to want, to be necessary, or expedient. Supra.]

To be necessary for; to be fit for; to be meet for, with respect to necessity, duty, or convenience. And thus it behooved Christ to suffer. – Luke xxiv. It may perhaps be used intransitively; as, let him behave as it behooveth; but I believe such use is rare.

BE-HOOVE'FUL, a. [behoov'ful.]

Needful; useful; profitable; advantageous.

BE-HOOVE'FUL-LY, adv. [behoov'fully.]

Usefully; profitably. [Obs. or nearly so.]

BE-HOT', pret.

of Behight. [Obs.]


and its derivatives. See Behoove.

BE-HOWL', v.i. [be and howl.]

To howl at. [Not used.] – Shak.

BE'ING, n.

  1. Existence; as, God is the author of our being. In God we live, and move, and have our being. – Acts xvii.
  2. A particular state or condition. [This is hardly a different sense.]
  3. A person existing; applied to the human race.
  4. An immaterial, intelligent existence, or spirit. Superior beings, when of late they saw / A mortal man unfold all nature's law. – Pope.
  5. An animal; any living creature; as, animals are such beings, as are endowed with sensation and spontaneous motion.

BE'ING, ppr. [See Be.]

Existing in a certain state. Man, being in honor, abideth not. – Ps. xlix.

BE-JADE', v.t. [be and jade.]

To tire. [Not used.] – Milton.

BE-JAPE', v.t.

To laugh at; to deceive. [Not used.] – Chaucer.

BE-JES'U-IT, v.t.

To initiate in Jesuitism. – Milton.

BE-KISS', v.t. [be and kiss.]

To kiss or salute. [Not in use.] – Jonson.

BE-KNAVE', v.t. [be and knave.]

To call knave. [Not used.] – Pope.

BE-KNOW', v.t. [be and know.]

To acknowledge. [Not used.] – Chaucer.