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Webster 1913 Edition


Were

Were

,
Verb.
T.
&
I.
To wear. See 3d
Wear
.
[Obs.]
Chaucer.

Were

,
Noun.
A weir. See
Weir
.
[Obs.]
Chaucer. Sir P. Sidney.

Were

,
Verb.
T.
[AS.
werian
.]
To guard; to protect.
[Obs.]
Chaucer.

Were

(wẽr; 277)
.
[AS.
wǣre
(thou) wast,
wǣron
(we, you, they) were,
wǣre
imp. subj. See
Was
.]
The imperfect indicative plural, and imperfect subjunctive singular and plural, of the verb be. See
Be
.

Were

(wēr)
,
Noun.
[AS.
wer
; akin to OS. & OHG.
wer
, Goth.
waír
, L.
vir
, Skr.
vīra
. Cf.
Weregild
, and
Werewolf
.]
1.
A man.
[Obs.]
2.
A fine for slaying a man; the money value set upon a man’s life; weregild.
[Obs.]
Every man was valued at a certain sum, which was called his
were
.
Bosworth.

Webster 1828 Edition


Were

WERE

, pron. er, which when prolonged, becomes ware. This is used as the imperfect tense plural of be; we were, you were, they were; and in some other tenses. It is the Danish verb vaerer, to be, to exist, and in origin has no connection with be, nor with was. It is united with be, to supply its want of tenses, as went is with go.

WERE

,
Noun.
A dam. [See Wear.]

Definition 2021


were

were

See also: were- and we're

English

Pronunciation

stressed

  • (UK) enPR: wûr, IPA(key): /wɜː(ɹ)/
  • (US) enPR: wûr, IPA(key): /wɝ/
  • Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)
  • Homophone: whirr (in accents with the wine-whine merger)

unstressed

  • (UK) enPR: wər, IPA(key): /wə(ɹ)/
  • (US) enPR: wər, IPA(key): /wɚ/

Verb

were

  1. Second-person singular simple past tense indicative of be.
    John, you were the only person to see him.
  2. First-person plural simple past tense indicative of be.
    We were about to leave.
  3. Second-person plural simple past tense indicative of be.
    Mary and John, you were right.
  4. Third-person plural simple past tense indicative of be.
    They were a fine group.
    They were to be the best of friends from that day on.
  5. Simple imperfect subjunctive in all persons of be.
    I wish that it were Sunday.
    I wish that I were with you.
    • with "if" omitted, put first in an "if" clause:
      Were it simply that she wore a hat, I would not be upset at all. (= If it were simply...)
      Were father a king, we would have war. (= If father were a king,...)
    • 2011 November 3, David Ornstein, “Macc Tel-Aviv 1 - 2 Stoke”, in BBC Sport:
      Maccabi would have been out of contention were it not for Stoke's profligacy, but their fortune eventually ran out as the visitors opened the scoring.
  6. (Northern England) was.
Synonyms
  • (second-person singular past indicative, archaic) wast (used with "thou")
  • (second-person singular imperfect subjunctive, archaic) wert (used with "thou")

See also

Etymology 2

Old English wer, from Proto-Germanic *weraz, from Proto-Indo-European *wiHrós (man). Cognate to Latin vir (man).

Noun

were (plural weres)

  1. (archaic) man (human male), as in werewolf (man-wolf).
  2. (obsolete) A fine for slaying a man; weregild.
    • Bosworth
      Every man was valued at a certain sum, which was called his were.
  3. (fandom slang) The collective name for any kind of person that changes into another form under certain conditions, including the werewolf.
Related terms

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: she · they · my · #35: were · are · their · one

Anagrams


Dutch

Pronunciation

  • Rhymes: -eːrə

Verb

were

  1. (archaic) singular present subjunctive of weren

Anagrams


Irarutu

were

Etymology

From Proto-Central Malayo-Polynesian *waiʀ, from Proto-Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian *waiʀ, from Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *wahiʀ.

Noun

were

  1. water (clear liquid H₂O)

Kurdish

Verb

were

  1. Second-person singular imperative of hatin.

Maku'a

Noun

were

  1. water

References

  • Aone van Engelenhoven, The position of Makuva among the Austronesian languages of Southwest Maluku and East Timor, in Austronesian historical linguistics and culture history: a festschrift, Pacific linguistics 601 (2009)

Onin

Etymology

From Proto-Central Malayo-Polynesian *waiʀ, from Proto-Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian *waiʀ, from Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *wahiʀ.

Noun

were

  1. water (clear liquid H₂O)

Toro

Noun

were

  1. day

Reference


Uruangnirin

Etymology

From Proto-Central Malayo-Polynesian *waiʀ, from Proto-Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian *waiʀ, from Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *wahiʀ.

Noun

were

  1. water (clear liquid H₂O)