In folklore and fantasy fiction, were- is often used as a prefix applied to an animal name to indicate a type of therianthropic or shapeshifter (e.g. "were- boar"). Hyphenation used to be mandatory but is now commonly dropped, as in werecat and wererat. This usage can be seen as a back-formation from werewolf (literally, "man- wolf"), as there is no equivalent wifewolf.
Gothic has a word translating kosmos, not derived from the same stem: , used by Ulfilas in alternation with . The corresponding West Germanic term is " world", literally wer "man" + ald "age". Gothic is cognate to Old High German , Old English , terms expressing "lifetime" ().
The word has cognates in various other languages, for example, the words (as in virility) and (plural as in Fir Bolg) are the Latin and Gaelic for a male human.
Were is an archaic term for an adult male human, now used as a prefix to indicate a type of shapeshifter.
Were may also refer to:
- were, a preterite and irrealis form of the English copular verb to be
- Were music, a style of Muslim religious music
- WERE, a radio station licensed to Cleveland Heights, Ohio, United States
- Boky Wéré, a village in Mali
- Were (river), a river in Wiltshire, England
- Were language, a language of Papua New-Guinea
- Wèré, a variety of the Upper Morehead language of Papua New-Guinea
- Were or Warra, a common element in the names of Oromo clans of Ethiopia
- Beatrice Were, a Ugandan AIDS activist
- David Were, a Kenyan politician
- Edward Were, a 19th-century Anglican bishop
- Miriam Were, a Kenyan public health advocate
- Mugabe Were, a Kenyan legislator
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
v. have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun); "John is rich"; "This is not a good answer"
be identical to; be someone or something; "The president of the company is John Smith"; "This is my house"
occupy a certain position or area; be somewhere; "Where is my umbrella?" "The toolshed is in the back"; "What is behind this behavior?"
have an existence, be extant; "Is there a God?" [syn: exist]
happen, occur, take place; "I lost my wallet; this was during the visit to my parents' house"; "There were two hundred people at his funeral"; "There was a lot of noise in the kitchen"
form or compose; "This money is my only income"; "The stone wall was the backdrop for the performance"; "These constitute my entire belonging"; "The children made up the chorus"; "This sum represents my entire income for a year"; "These few men comprise his entire army" [syn: constitute, represent, make up, comprise]
work in a specific place, with a specific subject, or in a specific function; "He is a herpetologist"; "She is our resident philosopher" [syn: follow]
spend or use time; "I may be an hour"
have life, be alive; "Our great leader is no more"; "My grandfather lived until the end of war" [syn: live]
to remain unmolested, undisturbed, or uninterrupted -- used only in infinitive form; "let her be"
be priced at; "These shoes cost $100" [syn: cost]
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Were \Were\, v. t. & i.
To wear. See 3d Wear. [Obs.]
Were \Were\, n.
A weir. See Weir. [Obs.]
--Chaucer. Sir P. Sidney.
Were \Were\, v. t. [AS. werian.]
To guard; to protect. [Obs.]
Were \Were\ (w[~e]r; 277). [AS. w[=ae]re (thou) wast, w[=ae]ron (we, you, they) were, w[=ae]re imp. subj. See Was.] The imperfect indicative plural, and imperfect subjunctive singular and plural, of the verb be. See Be.
Were \Were\ (w[=e]r), n. [AS. wer; akin to OS. & OHG. wer, Goth. wa['i]r, L. vir, Skr. v[=i]ra. Cf. Weregild, and Werewolf.]
A man. [Obs.]
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.
Etymology 1 vb. 1 (form of Second-person singular simple past tense indicative be English). 2 (form of First-person plural simple past tense indicative be English). 3 (form of Second-person plural simple past tense indicative be English). 4 (form of Third-person plural simple past tense indicative be English). 5 (form of Simple imperfect subjunctive mood subjunctive in all persons be English). Etymology 2
n. 1 (context archaic English) man (human male), as in (term werewolf man-wolf English). 2 (context obsolete English) A fine for slaying a man; weregild. 3 (context fandom English) The collective name for any kind of person that changes into another form under certain conditions, including the werewolf.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
Old English wæron (past plural indicative of wesan) and wære (second person singular past indicative); see was. The forms illustrate Verner's Law (named for Danish linguist Karl Verner, 1875), which predicts the "s" to "z" sound shift, and rhotacism, which changed "z" to "r." Wast (second person singular) was formed 1500s on analogy of be/beest, displacing were. An intermediate form, wert, was used in literature 17c.-18c., before were reclaimed the job.
Usage examples of "were".
He saw that the epicentre of Aberrancy always lay at the site of a Weaver monastery, and the monasteries were always built around the witchstones.
Every year, more children were born Aberrant, more were snatched by the Weavers.
The Empress might have enough support among the nobles to keep a precarious hold on her throne, but she had made no overtures to the common folk, and they were solidly opposed to the idea of an Aberrant ruler.
Tane and Asara were firing on the first Aberrant creature, trying to dissuade it from the panicking manxthwa, but it held fast.
Those who remained, many of them, were bitten by the Nazi aberrations and attempted to apply them to pure science.
Kuhmbuhluhners on their big horses, aided and abetted, if the tales of the fugitives were to be believed, by bearded Ahrmehnee warriors and even Moon Maidens.
Even the Templars and the Hospitallers were divided, and the Italian merchant princes abetted one faction or the other as their own interests decreed.
He asked, what officers would risk this event if the rioters themselves, or their abettors, were afterwards to sit as their judges?
The opposition also maintained that such a practice of raising troops was contrary to the oath of coronation, and that all who subscribed were abettors of perjury.
But the Americans and their abettors were not content with defensive law.
The troops of ladies were off to bereave themselves of their fashionable imitation old lace adornment, which denounced them in some sort abettors and associates of the sanguinary loathed wretch, Mrs.
Now he thought that he would abide their coming and see if he might join their company, since if he crossed the water he would be on the backward way: and it was but a little while ere the head of them came up over the hill, and were presently going past Ralph, who rose up to look on them, and be seen of them, but they took little heed of him.
Now Ralph, he and his, being known for friends, these wild men could not make enough of them, and as it were, compelled them to abide there three days, feasting them, and making them all the cheer they might.
Yet how should he not go to Utterbol with the Damsel abiding deliverance of him there: and yet again, if they met there and were espied on, would not that ruin everything for her as well as for him?
And a gorgeous pair of eyes they were, the young police sergeant noted as Abie Singleton continued her tirade against the Houston Police Department.