\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

Tithonus grows old and decrepit, begging for death. Joi Ito, WIRED, "The Responsibility of Immortality: Welcome to the New Transhumanism," 4 June 2018 People who live and work in Over-the-Rhine have been begging city officials for years to implement residential parking. Sharon Coolidge,, "Cincinnati unveils long-awaited OTR residential parking plan. Only thing missing? The cost.," 13 July 2018 All of this hand-wringing begs a question: When, exactly, was civility the norm in American politics? Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "America misses a political civility it never had," 29 June 2018 At this point, Sarah Huckabee Sanders is sitting outside Nielsen’s bedroom door begging to learn from the master. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Shamed by Protesters at a Mexican Restaurant ... A MEXICAN RESTAURANT!," 20 June 2018 Like Firefly before it, Sense8’s resurrection came only after cast members and thousands and thousands of fans begged the studio not to leave the story brutally unfinished. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "What Brought Sense8 Back—and What Killed It in the First Place," 8 June 2018 And that begs a question: if the Trump administration succeeds in smashing existing supply-chains, why assume manufacturing will return to America? The Economist, "Asia is at last waking up to the threat of a trade war," 28 June 2018 The 12-year-old Chihuahua was sitting pretty and begging for tacos in the shadow of the Maria’s Tacos food truck at the first Midweek Music & the Market of the season while Borchart and Cichowski laughed and chatted like old friends. Carrie Napoleon, Daily Southtown, "Highland tunes up Midweek Farmers Market offerings," 9 June 2018 The question this begs is as follows: in practical terms, did England reallyoverachieve by simply making the semis, as the vast majority of media in the country and beyond seems keen to suggest?, "Why England's World Cup Campaign Wasn't the Heroic Overachievment the Hype Would Have You Believe," 12 July 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

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for beg

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

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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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Comments on beg

What made you want to look up beg? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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