\ ˈbeg How to pronounce beg (audio) \
begged; begging

Definition of beg

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to ask for as a charity (see charity sense 1a) begging food from strangers begged him for some change
2a : to ask earnestly for : entreat beg forgiveness I beg your pardon.
b : to require as necessary or appropriate a scene that begged to be photographed
3 : evade, sidestep begged the real problems

intransitive verb

1 : to ask for alms children begging on the streets
2 : to ask earnestly begged for mercy
beg the question
1 : to elicit a question logically as a reaction or response the quarterback's injury begs the question of who will start in his place
2 : to pass over or ignore a question by assuming it to be established or settled

Definition of beg (Entry 2 of 2)

begin; beginning

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Choose the Right Synonym for beg


beg, entreat, beseech, implore, supplicate, adjure, importune mean to ask urgently. beg suggests earnestness or insistence in the asking. they begged for help entreat implies an effort to persuade or to overcome resistance. entreated me to join them beseech and implore imply a deeply felt anxiety. I beseech you to have mercy implored her not to leave him supplicate suggests a posture of humility. with bowed heads they supplicated their Lord adjure implies advising as well as pleading. we were adjured to tell the truth importune suggests an annoying persistence in trying to break down resistance to a request. importuning viewers for contributions

Examples of beg in a Sentence

Verb A homeless man begs on that corner every day. children begging strangers for food children begging food from strangers He begged the doctor for medicine. She begged him to read the story again. He begged that she would forgive him. begging a favor of someone He's too proud to beg. “Does your dog know any tricks?” “She knows how to beg.”
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Harris noted that ignoring the threat resulted in more deaths and infections in South Florida, where people stand in food lines and beg for government unemployment assistance. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "'Outrageous': Sen. Kamala Harris, Democratic nominee for vice president, tells Black leaders in Florida Trump must be removed," 11 Sep. 2020 Even the University of Illinois, one of the pioneers in saliva testing for students, had to beg them to stop partying and increased patrols after finding more than 700 positive cases since classes began. Janet Lorin,, "Raging Campus Outbreaks Send Students Home Across the U.S.," 4 Sep. 2020 Fine dining chefs are offering sandwiches and shareable spreads of charcuterie, bread, dips, fresh fruit and pastries that beg to be relished out on the grass somewhere beautiful. Janelle Bitker,, "11 San Francisco and Bay Area restaurants offering prime picnic options," 3 Sep. 2020 Little is known about how he was convinced to reinstate the engagement, but it is believed that Sara and Clare Bronfman flew to Dharamsala, India to beg him to change his mind. Sarah Midkiff,, "The Real Story Behind The Dalai Lama’s Puzzling NXIVM Entanglement," 23 Aug. 2020 The model and mogul showed off her impossibly glowy skin on Instagram, prompting fans to beg her to detail her skin care routine ASAP. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Chrissy Teigen Just Shared Her Entire Skin Care Routine," 7 July 2020 Because this stadium is Death Valley North, the 49ers beg for late games. Scott Ostler,, "10 reasons the 49ers will reach the Super Bowl again this season, and win," 11 Sep. 2020 To insist that this is unjust is to beg the question. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Accept the Results," 9 Sep. 2020 Another woman in a tight spot is Becca, who drives to a desert lab to beg for Homelander to be put back on his leash, but sadly for her that genie is out of the bottle and there's no going back. Rosie Knight,, "R29 Binge Club: The Boys Season 2 Recap," 7 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beg.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of beg


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for beg


Middle English beggen

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Time Traveler for beg

Time Traveler

The first known use of beg was in the 13th century

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Statistics for beg

Last Updated

30 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Beg.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for beg


How to pronounce beg (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of beg

: to ask people for money or food
: to ask (someone) in a very serious and emotional way for something needed or wanted very much
: to ask for (something needed or wanted very much) in a very serious and emotional way


\ ˈbeg How to pronounce beg (audio) \
begged; begging

Kids Definition of beg

1 : to ask for money, food, or help as charity beg in the streets
2 : to ask as a favor in an earnest or polite way : plead

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Comments on beg

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