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bee

Syllabification: bee

Definition of bee in English:

noun

1A honeybee.
Example sentences
  • Even accounting for native bee pollinators, honeybees still do most of the pollinating of fruits and vegetables in your garden.
  • As with any type of wasp, bee, or yellow jacket, please exercise care to avoid getting stung!
  • Of all the types of bees, honeybees have several advantages as pollinators.
2An insect of a large group to which the honeybee belongs, including many solitary as well as social kinds.
  • Superfamily Apoidea, order Hymenoptera: several families, often now placed in the single family Apidae
Example sentences
  • It's an example of self-organizing cooperative behavior, and it's found among ants, bees, and other social insects.
  • So that touching and feeling is a shared characteristic between honey bees and stingless bees.
  • There are over 30,000 species of bees and in most of them the bees live solitary lives.
Synonyms
honeybee, bumblebee, killer bee;
queen (bee), worker (bee), drone
3 [with modifier] A meeting for communal work or amusement: a quilting bee
More example sentences
  • There will be an emergency quilting bee to make them a wedding quilt tomorrow at the Torger's house, but only certain families are being asked to come.
  • The old-time quilting bee is well remembered, although most quilts were actually solo products.
  • I've been so busy being investigated, preparing for this lynch bee starting tomorrow that I hadn't had an opportunity to…

Origin

Old English bēo, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch bij and German dialect Beie.

More
  • A form of the word bee is found in almost all the languages that are closely related to English, and the familiar insect has inspired numerous familiar phrases. A worker is as busy as a bee, a comparison made from at least the 16th century. People used to describe an obsessive person as having a head full of bees, whereas we now say that you have a bee in your bonnet. Before close studies of insect behaviour, people believed that bees instinctively take a straight line when returning to the hive. This is the origin of beeline (mid 19th century). If you make a beeline for a place, you hurry directly to it. A spelling bee is a spelling contest, and a sewing bee a gathering for people to do their sewing together. This use, to mean ‘a meeting for communal work or amusement’, was suggested by the insect's social nature, and is first recorded in the USA in the 1760s.

Phrases

have a bee in one's bonnet

1
informal Be preoccupied or obsessed about something, especially a scheme or plan of action.
Example sentences
  • I have a bee in my bonnet about the oil and gas industry.
  • Regular readers will know I have a bee in my bonnet about innovative spins on tarte tatin.
  • Milbank has a bee in his bonnet over the president's exercise regimen.

the bee's knees

2
informal An outstandingly good person or thing.
[first used to denote something small and insignificant, transferred to the opposite sense in US slang]
Example sentences
  • I hope she'll look back and realise there were 10 other people in that house who all thought she was the bee's knees.
  • It was pale blue crepe with a cowl neckline and quite fitted with cuffed sleeves and a necklace made of white beads - I thought I was the bee's knees in it.
  • It's the bee's knees, the dog's tuxedo, I absolutely love it.

Words that rhyme with bee

absentee, açai, addressee, adoptee, agree, allottee, amputee, appellee, appointee, appraisee, après-ski, assignee, asylee, attendee, bailee, bain-marie, Bangui, bargee, bawbee, be, Bea, bootee, bouquet garni, bourgeoisie, Brie, BSc, buckshee, Capri, cc, chimpanzee, cohabitee, conferee, consignee, consultee, Cree, debauchee, decree, dedicatee, Dee, degree, deportee, dernier cri, detainee, devisee, devotee, divorcee, draftee, dree, Dundee, dungaree, eau-de-vie, emcee, employee, endorsee, en famille, ennui, enrollee, escapee, esprit, evacuee, examinee, expellee, fee, fiddle-de-dee, flea, flee, fleur-de-lis, foresee, franchisee, free, fusee (US fuzee), Gardaí, garnishee, gee, ghee, glee, goatee, grandee, Grand Prix, grantee, Guarani, guarantee, he, HMRC, indictee, inductee, internee, interviewee, invitee, jamboree, Jaycee, jeu d'esprit, key, knee, Lea, lee, legatee, Leigh, lessee, Ley, licensee, loanee, lychee, manatee, Manichee, maquis, Marie, marquee, me, Midi, mortgagee, MSc, nominee, obligee, Otomi, parolee, Parsee, parti pris, patentee, Pawnee, payee, pea, pee, permittee, plc, plea, pledgee, pollee, presentee, promisee, quay, ratatouille, referee, refugee, releasee, repartee, retiree, returnee, rupee, scot-free, scree, sea, secondee, see, settee, Shanxi, Shawnee, shchi, she, shea, si, sirree, ski, spree, standee, suttee, tant pis, tea, tee, tee-hee, Tennessee, testee, the, thee, three, thuggee, Tiree, Torquay, trainee, Tralee, transferee, tree, Trincomalee, trustee, tutee, twee, Twi, undersea, vestee, vis-à-vis, wagon-lit, Waikiki, warrantee, we, wee, whee, whoopee, ye, yippee, Zuider Zee

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