Understanding the Idiom: "be it as it may" - Meaning, Origins, and Usage

Idiom language: English
  • be that as it may, nonetheless, withal; nevertheless

When we communicate with others, we often use idioms to express ourselves. These phrases can be difficult to understand for non-native speakers, especially when they have a literal meaning that is different from their intended one. One such idiom is “be it as it may,” which has been used in English language for centuries.

This idiom is commonly used when discussing a situation where there are two or more possible outcomes, but the speaker wants to acknowledge that regardless of what happens, they will accept it. It’s a way of saying that even if things don’t go according to plan or expectations, the speaker will still move forward and deal with whatever comes their way.


The exact origin of this idiom is unclear, but its earliest known use dates back to the 16th century.


“Be it as it may” can be used in various contexts such as discussions about politics, business deals or personal relationships.


  • “I know you’re disappointed about not getting that job promotion, but be it as it may – you still have your health.”
  • “We’ve done everything we can to prepare for the storm, but be it as it may – we’ll deal with whatever comes our way.”


Understanding idioms like “be it as it may” is important for effective communication because they add depth and nuance to language.

Origins and Historical Context of the Idiom “be it as it may”

The phrase “be it as it may” is a common idiom used in English language to indicate acceptance or resignation towards a situation, regardless of one’s personal opinion. The origins of this phrase can be traced back to the 16th century, where it was commonly used in legal documents and court proceedings.

During that time, the phrase was often used by judges to acknowledge an argument made by a lawyer, but then dismiss it due to lack of evidence or relevance. This usage evolved over time and became more widely adopted in everyday language.

Throughout history, there have been many instances where this phrase has been used to express resignation towards events beyond one’s control. For example, during times of war or political turmoil, people would use this phrase to accept their fate and move on with their lives.

In modern times, “be it as it may” is still commonly used in conversations and written communication. It serves as a reminder that sometimes things are out of our control and we must accept them for what they are.

Usage and Variations of the Idiom “be it as it may”

When using idioms, it is important to understand their various meanings and how they can be applied in different situations. The idiom “be it as it may” is no exception. This phrase has been used for centuries to express acceptance or resignation towards a situation that cannot be changed.

There are several variations of this idiom, including “be that as it may,” “however that may be,” and “whatever the case may be.” Each variation carries a similar meaning but can be used in slightly different contexts.

One common usage of this idiom is when someone acknowledges an unfavorable outcome but chooses to accept it anyway. For example, if a student receives a poor grade on an exam despite studying hard, they might say, “I didn’t do well on the test, but be that as it may, I’ll keep trying.”

Another way to use this idiom is when acknowledging opposing viewpoints or arguments. In this context, the speaker recognizes differing opinions but ultimately accepts them without argument. For instance, during a debate about politics or religion, one person might say, “I understand your perspective on this issue; however that may be, I still believe what I believe.”

It’s worth noting that while these variations all carry similar meanings and connotations of acceptance or resignation towards an unchangeable situation or opposing viewpoint, some people prefer one variation over another based on personal preference or regional dialect.

Synonyms, Antonyms, and Cultural Insights for the Idiom “be it as it may”

When we encounter an idiom like “be it as it may,” we often wonder about its meaning and usage. However, understanding an idiom goes beyond just knowing what it means. It also involves discovering its synonyms and antonyms to better grasp its context and cultural significance.

One synonym for “be it as it may” is “nevertheless.” Both expressions convey a sense of acceptance or resignation in the face of a situation that cannot be changed. Another synonym is “regardless,” which emphasizes the idea of not being affected by something else.

On the other hand, some antonyms for this idiom include phrases such as “no matter what” or “come what may.” These expressions suggest a more proactive approach to dealing with obstacles rather than accepting them passively.

Cultural insights can also shed light on how idioms are used in different contexts. For example, in British English, people often say “so be it” instead of “be it as it may.” In American English, however, this phrase is less common.

Furthermore, understanding cultural references can help us appreciate idioms even more. The origin of this expression dates back to Shakespeare’s play Hamlet when the character Horatio says: “‘Tis but our fantasy; And will not let belief take hold of him Touching this dreaded sight twice seen of us: Therefore I have entreated him along With us to watch the minutes of this night; That if again this apparition come He may approve our eyes and speak to it.’ ‘Tush! tush!’ fear boys with bugs,’ said old Polonius; ‘He thinks he sees a ghost–‘Be that as’t will,’ says Horatio.”

Practical Exercises for the Idiom “be it as it may”

Enhance Your Vocabulary

Practice Using the Idiom in Context

The best way to become comfortable using an idiom is through practice. Try incorporating “be it as it may” into everyday conversations or written correspondence. Consider different scenarios where this phrase could be used, such as in a disagreement or when accepting an unfavorable outcome.


“I know we were hoping for a different outcome, but be it as it may, we still need to move forward with our plans.”

You can also challenge yourself by writing short stories or essays that include the idiom “be it as it may”. This will help you develop a deeper understanding of its usage and how to effectively convey meaning through language.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using the Idiom “be it as it may”

When using idioms in English, it’s important to understand their meaning and usage. The idiom “be it as it may” is no exception. However, even if you know what this phrase means, there are still some common mistakes that people make when using it.

One mistake is using the wrong tense or form of the verb. For example, saying “be it as it might” instead of “be it as it may” can change the meaning of the sentence. Another mistake is not using proper punctuation when incorporating this idiom into a sentence.

It’s also important to use this idiom in appropriate situations. It should be used when acknowledging a fact or situation that cannot be changed or argued against, rather than simply expressing an opinion.

Finally, be careful not to overuse this phrase in your writing or speech. Repeating an idiom too often can make your language sound repetitive and unoriginal.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can effectively incorporate the idiom “be it as it may” into your communication with confidence and clarity.

Common Mistakes Correct Usage
Using incorrect tense/form of verb “Be it as it may”, not “Be is as might”
Improper punctuation “Be it as it may,” (with comma) not “Beit asitmay.”
Inappropriate usage Use for acknowledging facts/situations only.
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