was

[ wuhz, woz; unstressed wuh z ]SEE DEFINITION OF was
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

WORD ORIGIN

Old English wesan, wæs, wæron 1st and 3rd person singular of wesan "to remain," from Proto-Germanic *wesanan (cf. 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- "remain, abide, dwell" (cf. Sanskrit vasati "he dwells, stays;" cf. vestal). Wesan was a distinct verb in Old English, but it came to supply the past tense of am. This began to develop in Proto-Germanic, because it is also the case in Gothic and Old Norse. See be.

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.