Meaning of “being” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"being" in British English

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beingnoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈbiː.ɪŋ/ us /ˈbiː.ɪŋ/

C2 a person or thing that exists:

A nuclear war would kill millions of living beings.
Strange beings from outer space are still a popular subject for sci-fi movies.

the state of existing:

We do not know exactly how life first came into being (= began to exist.)

More examples

  • Some fans seem to regard footballers as divine beings.
  • The United States is in the van of the quest to establish contact with beings from the beyond.
  • There was a man on the news last night who reckons we've been visited by beings from other worlds.
  • All living creatures are thought to descend from an organism that came into being three billion years ago.
  • Dinosaurs pre-existed human beings by many millions of years.

(Definition of “being” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"being" in American English

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us /ˈbi·ɪŋ/

being (BE)

present participle of be

beingnoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈbi·ɪŋ/

being noun [ C/U ] (PERSON)

a person or thing that exists, or the state of existing:

[ U ] The group came into being (= began to exist) to help relatives of the terminally ill.

(Definition of “being” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)