Bosworth Toller's


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  • prefix
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be-, , bi-, big-, and bí- are often used as prefixes.
Wright's OE grammar
§559; §570; §647;
when prefixed to verbs, be- and bi- either give an intensive signification to a transitive verb, or change an intransitive into a transitive verb, as,-Sprengan to sprinkle, be-sprengan to be-sprinkle; lecgan ponere, be-lecgan im-ponere; settan to set, put, be-settan to be-set, surround; fón to seize, be-fón to surround; gangan to go, be-gangan to exercise; reótan plorare, be-reótan
they have a privative sense, as,-Be-niman to deprive, be-reáfian to bereave, be-heáfdian
to behead.
sometimes they do not indicate any perceptible variation in the sense, as,-Be-cuman to come, be-sencan
to sink.
be-, bi-, big- have the same effect when prefixed to
substantives, adjectives, and adverbs.
the accented bí- and big-, as prefixes, generally have the original sense of the preposition by, as,-Bí-cwide, big-cwide a by-saying, proverb; bí-spell, big-spell a by-story, parable; bí-wǽrlan to pass-by; big-standan to stand-by. vide I. 2.
Full form


  • be-, prefix