\ˈbeg \
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


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

And so, the ritual of calling your ISP to demand—or beg for—a lower price begins again. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Negotiating with ISPs: Don’t accept broadband price hikes without a fight," 9 Nov. 2018 Fans on Twitter and r/neopets (which is surprisingly still active) begged for SDCC-exclusive codes and updates from the party. Devon Maloney, The Verge, "Purge supplies, Clone Wars tears, and shrimp cocktail carousels: the best things we saw at San Diego Comic-Con 2018," 23 July 2018 The woman begged bystanders for help before the officer dragged her across the pavement. Perry Vandell, azcentral, "Tempe police: Driver dragged by officer appeared to be unresponsive, impaired," 6 July 2018 Before Duffey imposed his sentence, two of Valdez’s siblings begged the judge for mercy. Bill Rankin, ajc, "Drug kingpin ‘La Barbie’ gets 49-year sentence for ‘despicable’ crimes," 11 June 2018 After Chandler Belaston was sentenced to 25 years in prison for murdering his father with a machete and crowbar, his mother begged Circuit Judge Debra Nelson for the opportunity to reach out and touch her son. Michael Williams,, "Oviedo man sentenced to 25 years for murdering father with crowbar," 18 May 2018 That evening, Leonardo Albornoz, 33, begged for coins at downtown stoplight as his wife and three children, ages 6 months to 8 years, looked on. Chris Kraul,, "Hungry, sick and increasingly desperate, thousands of Venezuelans are pouring into Colombia," 13 May 2018 The angular, sporty shades are practically begging to be worn by Gigi and Bella Hadid—along with just about every other cool girl on your Instagram feed. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "We're Calling It: This New Sunglasses Collection Is About To Take Over Instagram," 3 May 2018 The almond butter was practically begging me to add a pinch of salt, and the cashew butter was totally delicious plain. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Make Nut Butter With Any Kind of Nut," 9 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for beg

Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for beg

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

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More Definitions for beg



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 \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on beg

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with beg

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for beg

Spanish Central: Translation of beg

Nglish: Translation of beg for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beg for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about beg

Comments on beg

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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