Meaning of “were” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"were" in British English

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uk strong /wɜːr/ weak /r/ us /wɝː/ //

past simple of be


uk /wɪər/ us /wɪr/

short form of we are:

We're here, Diane.

More examples

  • We're going to China next month.
  • We're all very pleased with the outcome.
  • We don't know if we're going to buy the car.
  • We're very angry about the new road.
  • Do you think we're being silly?

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

"were" in American English

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us /wɜr, wər/

past simple of be


us /wɪər/

contraction of we are:

We’re ready now.

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