see also: Bee, BEE
Pronunciation Noun


  1. A flying insect, of the clade Anthophila within the hymenopteran superfamily Apoidea, known for its organised societies (though only a minority have them), for collecting pollen and (in some species) producing wax and honey.
    • 1499, John Skelton, The Bowge of Courte:
      His face was belymmed as byes had him stounge […].
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.12:
      An angry Wasp th'one in a viall had, / Th'other in hers an hony-laden Bee.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 12, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      Can there be a more formall, and better ordered policie, divided into so severall charges and offices, more constantly entertained, and better maintained, than that of Bees?
    • 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene i], page 17 ↗:
      smallcaps Ariell:
      Where the Bee ſucks, there ſuck I,
      In a Cowslips bell, I lie,
      There I cowch when Owles doe crie,
      On the Batts backe I doe flie
        after Sommer merrily.
      Merrily, merrily, ſhall I liue now
      Vnder the bloſſom that hangs on the Bow.
    • 2012, ‘Subtle poison’, The Economist, 31 March:
      Bees pollinate many of the world’s crops—a service estimated to be worth $15 billion a year in America alone.
  • (flying insect) king of insects
Translations Noun

bee (plural bees)

  1. A contest, especially for spelling; see spelling bee.
    geography bee
  2. A gathering for a specific purpose, e.g. a sewing bee or a quilting bee.
    • S. G. Goodrich
      The cellar […] was dug by a bee in a single day.
    • 1973, Alan Skeoch, ‎Tony H. Smith, Canadians and their society (page 139)
      There was but little variation in types of buildings in the pioneer period: house, church, store, barn and mill were usually much alike except in size, and a raising bee was the ordinary means of their erection.
    • 2011, Tim Blanning, "The reinvention of the night", Times Literary Supplement, 21 Sep 2011:
      Particularly resistant, for example, in many parts of northern Europe was the “spinning bee”, a nocturnal gathering of women to exchange gossip, stories, refreshment and – crucially – light and heat, as they spun wool or flax, knitted or sewed.
Translations Noun

bee (plural bees)

  1. (obsolete) A ring or torque; a bracelet.
    • 1658, Sir Thomas Browne, Urne-Burial, Penguin 2005, page 16:
      ...restoring unto the world much gold richly adorning his Sword, two hundred Rubies, many hundred Imperial Coynes, three hundred golden Bees, the bones and horseshoe of his horse enterred with him...
  1. Obsolete spelling of be#English|be
    • 1604 Reverend Cawdrey Table Aleph
      held that a ‘Nicholaitan is an heretike, like Nicholas, who held that wiues should bee common to all alike.’
  2. (obsolete) past participle of be#English|be; been
    Cride out, Now now Sir knight, shew what ye bee,

bee (plural bees)

  1. The name of the Latin script letter B
  • French:
  • Portuguese:
  • Russian: би
  • Spanish: be

bee (plural bees)

  1. (nautical, usually, in the plural) Any of the pieces of hard wood bolted to the sides of the bowsprit, to reeve the fore-topmast stays through.
  • bee block


bee (plural bees)

  1. (soccer) someone connected with Barnet Football Club, as a fan, player, coach etc.
Proper noun
  1. A female given name.
  2. Surname


bee (uncountable)

  1. Initialism of Black Economic Empowerment

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