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Important notice

Good news! We have updated our writing tools. Writing Tips and The Canadian Style have been combined to create a new tool called Writing Tips Plus.

Don’t forget to update your bookmarks. Within a few weeks, Writing Tips will no longer be available.

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.


The prefix be- has several meanings.

Meaning 1: all around, all over

  • The father was beset with grief over the sad news.
  • Bespattered with mud, the child played happily.

Meaning 2: thoroughly, excessively

  • In a state of shock, people seemed bemused after the accident.
  • They begrudged the time they spent on the task.

Meaning 3: having, covered with

  • The bespectacled student raised his hand.
  • I felt like a bejewelled queen wearing that necklace.

Meaning 4: affect with

  • Alcohol befogs the mind.

Meaning 5: cause to be, cause to seem, make

  • He belittled her with his remarks.

Meaning 6: treat as

  • They befriended the new neighbours.