verb com·mence \kə-ˈmen(t)s\

: to begin


Full Definition of COMMENCE

transitive verb
:  to enter upon :  begin <commence proceedings>
intransitive verb
:  to have or make a beginning :  start
chiefly British :  to take a degree at a university
com·menc·er noun

Examples of COMMENCE

  1. The festivities will commence with a parade.
  2. Their contract commences in January.
  3. The court commenced criminal proceedings.
  4. The country has commenced preparations for war.
  5. Dear God, I thought, I've been infected by an earworm. My friend the Longhair says that's what you call songs that burrow into your head and commence chewing your brains. —Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly, 24 Apr./1 May 2009

Origin of COMMENCE

Middle English comencen, from Anglo-French comencer, from Vulgar Latin *cominitiare, from Latin com- + Late Latin initiare to begin, from Latin, to initiate
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of COMMENCE

begin, commence, start, initiate, inaugurate, usher in mean to take the first step in a course, process, or operation. begin , start , and commence are often interchangeable. begin, opposed to end, is the most general <begin a trip> <began dancing>. start, opposed to stop, applies especially to first actions, steps, or stages <the work started slowly>. commence can be more formal or bookish than begin or start <commence firing> <commenced a conversation>. initiate implies taking a first step in a process or series that is to continue <initiated diplomatic contacts>. inaugurate suggests a beginning of some formality or notion of significance <the discovery of penicillin inaugurated a new era in medicine>. usher in is somewhat less weighty than inaugurate <ushered in a period of economic decline>.
COMMENCE Defined for Kids


verb com·mence \kə-ˈmens\

Definition of COMMENCE for Kids

:  begin 1, start


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