verb \ ˈbeg \
|Updated on: 13 Jul 2018

Definition of beg

begged; begging
1 : to ask for as a charity (see charity 1a)
  • begging food from strangers
  • begged him for some change
2 a : 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
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

Examples of beg in a Sentence

  1. A homeless man begs on that corner every day.

  2. children begging strangers for food

  3. children begging food from strangers

  4. He begged the doctor for medicine.

  5. She begged him to read the story again.

  6. He begged that she would forgive him.

  7. begging a favor of someone

  8. He's too proud to beg.

  9. “Does your dog know any tricks?” “She knows how to beg.”

Recent Examples of beg from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of beg

Middle English beggen

Synonym Discussion of 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




Definition of beg

begin; beginning

BEG Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of beg for English Language Learners

  • : 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

BEG Defined for Kids


verb \ ˈbeg \

Definition of beg for Students

begged; begging
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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one who attends or assists a leader

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