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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
was
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
hair was dripping
▪ Her boots were muddy and her hair was dripping.
honeymoon was over
▪ By 1987, the honeymoon was over.
I was forgetting ... (=said when you have just remembered or been reminded about something)spoken
▪ Oh yes, I was forgetting she was pregnant.
It was a tough call (=a difficult decision)
It was a tough call, but we had to cancel the game because of the weather.
it was abnormal
▪ My parents thought it was abnormal for a boy to be interested in ballet.
it was announced that
▪ At the end of their meeting, it was announced that an agreement had been reached.
It was decent of
It was decent of you to show up today.
it was hopeless
▪ I kept on struggling forward, even though I knew it was hopeless.
It was mean of
It was mean of him not to invite her.
(it was) nice meeting you (=used to say goodbye politely to someone you have just met for the first time)
it was nip and tuck
▪ We made it to the airport, but it was nip and tuck.
It was no bother (=used to emphasize that you were happy to help someone)
▪ ‘Thanks for your help.’ ‘It was no bother at all.’
It was noticeable that
It was noticeable that many of them avoided answering the question.
It was sleeting
It was sleeting so hard we could barely see for 30 yards.
It was stupid of me
It was stupid of me to lose my temper.
it was too late
▪ He shouted a warning but it was too late.
It was unbelievable that
It was unbelievable that we were expected to pay twice.
It was unlucky...that
It was unlucky for Stephen that the boss happened to walk in just at that moment.
it was worth it
▪ It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it.
It was...dark (=was night)
It was still dark when we boarded the train.
it was...foreseeable that
▪ The judge found that it was not foreseeable that the fuel would catch fire.
It was...rash of
It was rather rash of you to lend them your car.
It was...terrifying
It was absolutely terrifying.
never had/did/was etc
▪ Never had she been so confused.
old though it is/tired though he was etc
▪ Strange though it may seem, I like housework.
that...was a...doozy
▪ I’ve heard lies before, but that one was a real doozy!
the converse was true
▪ Some teachers welcomed the change; but for the majority of teachers, the converse was true.
the odd thing was
▪ What she did was unforgivable, but the odd thing was he didn’t seem to mind.
there is/was a call
▪ There was a phone call for you.
there was (a) panic
▪ When the shooting started, there was panic.
There was...pandemonium
There was complete pandemonium in the kitchen.
was a blast
▪ The concert was a blast.
was a complete mess
▪ When I got home, the house was a complete mess.
was beneath...dignity (=was something she thought she was too important to do)
▪ Arguing was beneath her dignity .
was dragged kicking and screaming
▪ The London Stock Exchange was dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th century.
was in short supply (=not enough of it was available)
▪ Gasoline was in short supply after the war.
was out of puff (=had difficulty breathing)
▪ I was out of puff.
was plastered all over the papers (=was the main story in the newspapers)
▪ The news of the wedding was plastered all over the papers.
was tinged with sadness (=he also felt rather sad)
▪ His relief was tinged with sadness.
was under no illusion that
▪ She was under no illusion that he loved her.
was wise in the ways of (=knew a lot about)
▪ As a manager, Sanford was wise in the ways of company politics.
was...touched by (=doubt affected him)
▪ He was often touched by doubt .
what all the fuss was about (=why people liked it so much)
▪ Until I heard her sing I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about.
what was left of (=used when very little is left)
▪ He pointed to what was left of the house .
When I was young
When I was young, I wanted to be a model.
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
(since sb was) in short pants
I was wondering if/whether
▪ I was wondering if you could babysit tomorrow night.
▪ We were wondering if you'd like to come with us.
▪ Actually, I was wondering if I could paint the room?
▪ I guess I was wondering if people would still call me a hippie if I cut my hair off, you know.
▪ Next weekend. I was wondering if you fancied coming along for the ride.
▪ We were finally talking about bodies. I was wondering whether he would ever make a move.
I/we was robbed!
as is/was/does etc
▪ And as is the way of things in nature, given sufficient heat and hammering, the result is forged steel.
▪ For his contemporaries, Gloucester clearly filled a double role, as is illustrated by his dealings with the city of York.
▪ In fact, as is clearly illustrated by this data, inequalities are relatively consistent throughout childhood.
▪ It is as unique in its way as was the original White Paper.
▪ It was a small, intimate gathering that was assembled, as was the custom among nice Atchison families.
▪ Now he desires, as is but right, that my dowry should be returned with me.
▪ The classic Sinatra phrasing remains intact, as does that easy-breeze delivery.
▪ The human was now seen as a biomechanical machine, as was the entire universe.
how was I to know?/how did I know?
if ever there was one
▪ A crazy notion if ever there was one.
▪ An obstinate fellow, if ever there was one, and a very elusive one too.
▪ Exercise is the original fountain of youth if ever there was one.
▪ He is a product of the system if ever there was one.
▪ Here is a time warp if ever there was one.
▪ My favourite Caithness loch is Heilen, near Castletown; an expert's loch if ever there was one.
▪ My son, however, is a sports fanatic if ever there was one.
it was all I could do to do sth
▪ I followed one up the motorway just yesterday and it was all I could do to not retch.
▪ When pro golfer Tiger Woods won the Masters two weeks ago, it was all I could do to suppress a yawn.
it was as much as sb could do to do sth
it was nothing/think nothing of it
it's time I was moving/we ought to get moving etc
my heart was in my mouth
once is/was enough
sb always was lucky/untidy etc
sb was (just) minding their own business
▪ I was just walking along, minding my own business, when this guy ran straight into me.
sb was all ...
sb was never meant for sth/to be sth
some friend you are/some help she was etc
sth was meant to be/happen
▪ Designed by Robert Von Hagge, it was meant to be hard.
▪ Imprinted with cell bars, the first Tricky Envelope was meant to be festooned with the Richard Nixon stamp.
▪ It was meant to be some kind of joke.
▪ Our protest was meant to be purely symbolic.
▪ Perhaps it's because none of this was meant to happen.
▪ She was meant to be illustrating a new book for children, a fantasy story by a well-known author.
▪ Technically he was meant to be in bed.
▪ The fit crew was meant to be Merrill Lynch.
there I was/there they were etc
time was (when)
Time was when you could buy a new car for less than $500.
▪ A few minutes of television time was so precious.
▪ It was a sweet life, but Gore at the time was reinventing government and saving the Earth.
▪ It was comfortable with its premature senescence but at the same time was wired with a wildness and youthful energy.
▪ The besetting sin of the time was drunkenness, and a couple of notorious drunks lived near Richard Baxter.
▪ The election was not settled until close to the inauguration, so not much time was available to plan the festivities.
▪ The paper ran a page-one correction, noting that the time was right for Hawaii.
▪ Unfortunately, although a good time was had by all, a number of the team picked up a strange flu bug.
▪ Within the political mainstream, the spirit of these times was consensual.
was/were to do sth
what was all that about?
▪ And what was all that about sending him your regards?
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Was

Was \Was\ (w[o^]z). [AS. w[ae]s, 2d pers. w[=ae]re, 3d pers. w[ae]s, pl. w[=ae]ron, with the inf. wesan to be; akin to D. wezen, imp. was, OHG. wesan, imp. was, G. wesen, n., a being, essence, war was, Icel. vera to be, imp. var, Goth. wisan to be, to dwell, to remain, imp. was, Skr. vas to remain, to dwell. [root]148. Cf. Vernacular, Wassail, Were, v.] The first and third persons singular of the verb be, in the indicative mood, preterit (imperfect) tense; as, I was; he was.

Was

Be \Be\ (b[=e]), v. i. [imp. Was (w[o^]z); p. p. Been (b[i^]n); p. pr. & vb. n. Being.] [OE. been, beon, AS. be['o]n to be, be['o]m I am; akin to OHG. bim, pim, G. bin, I am, Gael. & Ir. bu was, W. bod to be, Lith. bu-ti, O. Slav. by-ti, to be, L. fu-i I have been, fu-turus about to be, fo-re to be about to be, and perh. to fieri to become, Gr. fy^nai to be born, to be, Skr. bh[=u] to be. This verb is defective, and the parts lacking are supplied by verbs from other roots, is, was, which have no radical connection with be. The various forms, am, are, is, was, were, etc., are considered grammatically as parts of the verb ``to be'', which, with its conjugational forms, is often called the substantive verb. [root]97. Cf. Future, Physic.]

  1. To exist actually, or in the world of fact; to have existence.

    To be contents his natural desire.
    --Pope.

    To be, or not to be: that is the question.
    --Shak.

  2. To exist in a certain manner or relation, -- whether as a reality or as a product of thought; to exist as the subject of a certain predicate, that is, as having a certain attribute, or as belonging to a certain sort, or as identical with what is specified, -- a word or words for the predicate being annexed; as, to be happy; to be here; to be large, or strong; to be an animal; to be a hero; to be a nonentity; three and two are five; annihilation is the cessation of existence; that is the man.

  3. To take place; to happen; as, the meeting was on Thursday.

  4. To signify; to represent or symbolize; to answer to.

    The field is the world.
    --Matt. xiii. 38.

    The seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
    --Rev. i. 20.

    Note: The verb to be (including the forms is, was, etc.) is used in forming the passive voice of other verbs; as, John has been struck by James. It is also used with the past participle of many intransitive verbs to express a state of the subject. But have is now more commonly used as the auxiliary, though expressing a different sense; as, ``Ye have come too late -- but ye are come. '' ``The minstrel boy to the war is gone.'' The present and imperfect tenses form, with the infinitive, a particular future tense, which expresses necessity, duty, or purpose; as, government is to be supported; we are to pay our just debts; the deed is to be signed to-morrow.

    Note: Have or had been, followed by to, implies movement. ``I have been to Paris.''
    --Sydney Smith. ``Have you been to Franchard ?''
    --R. L. Stevenson.

    Note: Been, or ben, was anciently the the indicative present. ``Ye ben light of the world.''
    --Wyclif, Matt. v. 14. Afterwards be was used, as in our Bible: ``They that be with us are more than they that be with them.''
    --2 Kings vi. 16. Ben was also the old infinitive: ``To ben of such power.''
    --R. of Gloucester. Be is used as a form of the present subjunctive: ``But if it be a question of words and names.''
    --Acts xviii. 1

  5. But the indicative forms, is and are, with if, are more commonly used.

    Be it so, a phrase of supposition, equivalent to suppose it to be so; or of permission, signifying let it be so.
    --Shak.

    If so be, in case.

    To be from, to have come from; as, from what place are you? I am from Chicago.

    To let be, to omit, or leave untouched; to let alone. ``Let be, therefore, my vengeance to dissuade.''
    --Spenser.

    Syn: To be, Exist.

    Usage: The verb to be, except in a few rare cases, like that of Shakespeare's ``To be, or not to be'', is used simply as a copula, to connect a subject with its predicate; as, man is mortal; the soul is immortal. The verb to exist is never properly used as a mere copula, but points to things that stand forth, or have a substantive being; as, when the soul is freed from all corporeal alliance, then it truly exists. It is not, therefore, properly synonymous with to be when used as a copula, though occasionally made so by some writers for the sake of variety; as in the phrase ``there exists [is] no reason for laying new taxes.'' We may, indeed, say, ``a friendship has long existed between them,'' instead of saying, ``there has long been a friendship between them;'' but in this case, exist is not a mere copula. It is used in its appropriate sense to mark the friendship as having been long in existence.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
was

Old English wesan, wæs, wæron 1st and 3rd person singular of wesan "to remain," from Proto-Germanic *was- (cognates: Old Saxon wesan, Old Norse vesa, Old Frisian wesa, Middle Dutch wesen, Dutch wezen, Old High German wesen "being, existence," Gothic wisan "to be"), from PIE root *wes- (3) "remain, abide, live, dwell" (cognates Sanskrit vasati "he dwells, stays;" compare vestal). Wesan was a distinct verb in Old English, but it came to supply the past tense of am. This probably began to develop in Proto-Germanic, because it is also the case in Gothic and Old Norse. See be.

Wiktionary
was

vb. 1 (form of First-person singular simple past tense indicative be English). 2 (form of Third-person singular simple past tense indicative be English). 3 (context proscribed dialect English) (form of Second-person singular simple past tense indicative be English). 4 (context colloquial English) (form of Second person plural simple past tense be English)

WordNet
was

See be

be
  1. v. have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun); "John is rich"; "This is not a good answer"

  2. be identical to; be someone or something; "The president of the company is John Smith"; "This is my house"

  3. occupy a certain position or area; be somewhere; "Where is my umbrella?" "The toolshed is in the back"; "What is behind this behavior?"

  4. have an existence, be extant; "Is there a God?" [syn: exist]

  5. 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"

  6. be identical or equivalent to; "One dollar equals 1,000 rubles these days!" [syn: equal] [ant: differ]

  7. 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]

  8. 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]

  9. represent, as of a character on stage; "Derek Jacobi was Hamlet" [syn: embody, personify]

  10. spend or use time; "I may be an hour"

  11. have life, be alive; "Our great leader is no more"; "My grandfather lived until the end of war" [syn: live]

  12. to remain unmolested, undisturbed, or uninterrupted -- used only in infinitive form; "let her be"

  13. be priced at; "These shoes cost $100" [syn: cost]

  14. [also: were, was, is, been, are, am]

Wikipedia
Was (Not Was)

Was (Not Was) is an American eclectic pop group founded by David Weiss (a.k.a. David Was) and Don Fagenson (a.k.a. Don Was). They gained popularity in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Was

Was or WAS may refer to:

  • Was, a past-tense form of the English copular verb to be
Was (novel)

Was (or Was... in the UK edition) is a WFA nominated 1992 novel by American author Geoff Ryman, focusing on themes by L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and the musical film version. Ranging across time and space from the 1860s Kansas to the late 1980s California

The concept of WAS is an adult parallel to the magical Land of Oz, that never existed as a real place. Instead, the novel explores the tragic, but very moving life of "Dorothy Gael" in 1800s Kansas, whose traumatic experiences with Aunt Emily and Uncle Henry after her mother's death lead her to create an imaginary and idealized world in her mind based on some of her real-life experiences as a way of coping with her bleak reality.

The book also goes into depth about the importance of a healthy, stable childhood and explores the life of Judy Garland as she plays Dorothy Gale in the 1939 movie. The novel tells the stories of the characters and how they are connected to one another without the characters themselves realizing it.

Was (Not Was) (album)

Was (Not Was) is the début album by art-funk ensemble Was (Not Was); it was released in 1981. The album was re-released with additional material in 2004 under the name Out Come the Freaks. The art direction was by Maverse Players.

Was (horse)

Was is an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse. She is best known for winning the Epsom Oaks on her third racecourse appearance.

Usage examples of "was".

And though perspective was gained, was not something lost because the authors necessarily lacked a personal acquaintance with the life and the atmosphere of the times and with the historical figures about which they wrote?

But into its short life was packed the most cataclysmic series of events that Western civilisation has ever known.

Hitherto the archives of a great state, even when it was defeated in war and its government overthrown by revolution, as happened to Germany and Russia in 1918, were preserved by it, and only those documents which served the interests of the subsequent ruling regime were ultimately published.

It is a unique source of concise information for the period between August 14, 1939, and September 24, 1942, when he was Chief of the Army General Staff and in daily contact with Hitler and the other leaders of Nazi Germany.

German Navy from April 1945, when they were found, back to 1868, when the modern German Navy was founded.

Finally in 1955, ten years after their capture, thanks to the initiative of the American Historical Association and the generosity of a couple of private foundations, the Alexandria papers were opened and a pitifully small group of scholars, with an inadequate staff and equipment, went to work to sift through them and photograph them before the government, which was in a great hurry in the matter, returned them to Germany.

The text of other documents published in a fifteen-volume series on the twelve subsequent Nuremberg trials was also of value, though many papers and much testimony were omitted.

German military officers and party and government officials and their subsequent testimony under oath at the various postwar trials, which provide material the like of which was never available, I believe, from such sources after previous wars.

Germany during the Nazi time, journalists and diplomats, really knew of what was going on behind the facade of the Third Reich.

Nothing more recent than the Napoleonic era, I was told, should be tackled by writers of history.

But was this not principally because it took that long for the pertinent documents to come to light and furnish them with the authentic material they needed?

The curtain was rung down on that phase of history, at least, by the sudden invention of the hydrogen bomb, of the ballistic missile and of rockets that can be aimed to hit the moon.

The Weimar Republic, it seemed obvious to almost everyone, was about to expire.

Adolf Hitler, leader of the National Socialists, the largest political party in Germany, was demanding for himself the chancellorship of the democratic Republic he had sworn to destroy.

There were reports that Schleicher, in collusion with General Kurt von Hammerstein, the Commander in Chief of the Army, was preparing a putsch with the support of the Potsdam garrison for the purpose of arresting the President and establishing a military dictatorship.