\ 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 In this surreal pandemic year — as coronavirus infection rates and deaths soar, and local officials beg us to stay home — the holiday feels quietly somber, rather than celebratory. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: No FaceTime, no Zoom. Why a digital detox is on my Thanksgiving menu," 24 Nov. 2020 Cleaning crews politely beg him to take his crying outside, and movers perform elaborate choreography while tossing his belongings out of the Oval Office. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Forget SNL. The Best Election Satire Is on TikTok.," 13 Nov. 2020 People positioned themselves in different areas in home run spots to try to catch balls and beg players to throw them one. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "‘We breathe this stuff’: An inside look at fans’ first experience inside Globe Life Field," 13 Oct. 2020 My parent would get mad, tell me to leave and then beg me to come back home -- all within a three-day time span. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Parent who constantly ‘kicks out’ children is breaking the law," 4 Oct. 2020 One passerby stopped to shoot a Facebook Live video of Prude after seeing the disturbed man get on his knees and beg another motorist to call 911. Steve Orr, USA TODAY, "A Black man pinned to the ground by NY police died two months before George Floyd's death," 2 Sep. 2020 And, of course, some logged on to beg for even a momentary respite from the Trump–versus–Biden news that has dominated our lives for what feels like years (but has somehow only been three days? Emma Specter, Vogue, "The Best Twitter Reactions to This Bizarre, Dragged-Out Election Day," 6 Nov. 2020 After the call was made, the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was deployed to beg Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch to reverse the decision. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Trump’s Divorce From Fox News Is Getting Ugly," 6 Nov. 2020 Such moves, along with his efforts to maintain traditional priorities for the Pentagon, also beg the question: Would Gallego join the Biden administration, if there is one? Gallego sidestepped such speculation. Ronald J. Hansen, The Arizona Republic, "Rep. Ruben Gallego is a top campaigner for Joe Biden. Is a Biden administration post in his future?," 19 Oct. 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

29 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Beg.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 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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