Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BE, pref. [bɪ, bə]

1. Used to form deriv. v., usually with factitive or intensive meaning, rarely privative, from v., n. or adj., betake, begowk, beswick.

2. Used to form pa.p. with adj. or adv. force where other finite tenses are wanting or rare, as bedicht, begrutten, beschacht.

3. Used to form n. from n. or adj. with some or no intensive force, as bethank, begeck, begunk.

4. Used to form adv. or prep. from n. or other adv., as benorth, beeast, befram (sea-ward), belyve.

5. Used to form derivs. with Romance stems, as besaunt, bemuse.

[From O.E. be, unstressed form of O.E. , big. For illustrative quots. see under various heads — e.g. Begowk, etc.]

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"Be prefix". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 9 Aug 2020 <>



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