begin

verb
be·​gin | \ bi-ˈgin How to pronounce begin (audio) , bē- \
began\ bi-​ˈgan How to pronounce begin (audio) , bē-​ \; begun\ bi-​ˈgən How to pronounce begin (audio) , bē-​ \; beginning

Definition of begin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to do the first part of an action : go into the first part of a process : start began by introducing herself will have to begin again
2a : to come into existence : arise Their problems were just beginning.
b : to have a starting point Her career began in Chicago. Prices begin at $110 per night.
3 : to do or succeed in the least degree I can't begin to tell you how pleased I am.

transitive verb

1 : to set about the activity of : start The lecture begins at 10:00. have all ready begun construction
2a : to bring into being : found credited with beginning the movement In 1819, he married the daughter of a … chief and began a dynasty that would last for nearly 200 years.— Robert F. Oaks
b : originate, invent began their tradition
to begin with
: as the first thing to be considered

Begin

biographical name
Be·​gin | \ ˈbā-gin How to pronounce Begin (audio) \

Definition of Begin (Entry 2 of 2)

Me*na*chem \ mə-​ˈnä-​ḵəm How to pronounce Begin (audio) \ 1913–1992 prime minister of Israel (1977–83)

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Choose the Right Synonym for begin

Verb

begin, commence, start, initiate, inaugurate, usher in mean to take the first step in a course, process, or operation. begin, start, and commence are often interchangeable. begin, opposed to end, is the most general. begin a trip began dancing start, opposed to stop, applies especially to first actions, steps, or stages. the work started slowly commence can be more formal or bookish than begin or start. commence firing commenced a conversation initiate implies taking a first step in a process or series that is to continue. initiated diplomatic contacts inaugurate suggests a beginning of some formality or notion of significance. the discovery of penicillin inaugurated a new era in medicine usher in is somewhat less weighty than inaugurate. ushered in a period of economic decline

Examples of begin in a Sentence

Verb They will begin construction on the new school soon. I got the job and I begin work on Monday! She'll begin the lecture at 10. He plans to begin the project later this week. They both began their careers at the local newspaper. The university began accepting applications in November. I had just begun eating when the phone rang. She interrupted as soon as I began to speak. Now that I've begun, I'll go on till I finish. I began the quilt last month.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb He is expected to enroll in school when spring semester classes begin next week. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "Former LSU basketball player Charles Manning commits to South Alabama," 15 Jan. 2021 Alabama officials also have been inundated with requests for appointments since announcing the state will begin vaccinations for people over 75 next week. The Associated Press, NOLA.com, "As Louisiana coronavirus vaccinations ramp up, Southern neighbors fall behind," 15 Jan. 2021 In July, the CIF compressed the normal three-season sports calendar (fall, winter and spring) into two, with fall sports scheduled to resume practice early in December and begin competition the first week in January. Mitch Stephens, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area coaches unite to save prep football as coronavirus jeopardizes season," 13 Jan. 2021 Joe Biden will begin his presidency next week with a cabinet made up mostly of acting officials as delays in the Senate slow confirmation of his top choices for key positions including the secretaries of Defense and Treasury. Laura Litvan, Bloomberg.com, "Biden Cabinet Risks Slow Start With Lag in Senate Confirmations," 13 Jan. 2021 But, as Hearn and former Ranger Delino DeShields said last week, the effort to reach Black communities can’t begin and end with Black players. Evan Grant, Dallas News, "Frosty fingers aside, Rangers, Clayton Kershaw and The Players Alliance gave away ‘good vibes’ and more in Oak Cliff," 10 Jan. 2021 Investors will get a look at how underwriting affected fourth-quarter profits when the largest lenders begin reporting results next week. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "2020 SPAC Boom Lifted Wall Street’s Biggest Banks," 5 Jan. 2021 As the General Assembly prepares to begin its 2021 legislative session next week, Watchdog RI chairman Ken Block, a former Republican gubernatorial candidate, is calling for lawmakers to address the discrepancy. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "A double standard for disabled police and disabled firefighters in Rhode Island," 4 Jan. 2021 State Health Officer Scott Harris said last week that vaccinations were to be begin at long-term care facilities this week under a partnership with pharmacies. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Cruise ship docks, Navajo Nation, veterans vaccinated: News from around our 50 states," 30 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'begin.' 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 begin

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for begin

Verb

Middle English beginnen, going back to Old English beginnan, from be- be- + -ginnan, going back to Germanic *genn-a-, verbal base of uncertain meaning and origin occurring only with prefixes, found also in Old English onginnan "to be at a starting point, start," Old High German beginnan, Gothic duginnan

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Time Traveler for begin

Time Traveler

The first known use of begin was before the 12th century

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Statistics for begin

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Begin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/begin. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for begin

begin

verb
How to pronounce Begin (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of begin

: to do the first part of an action : to start doing something
: to start to work on, produce, or give attention to (something)
: to cause (something) to start

begin

verb
be·​gin | \ bi-ˈgin How to pronounce begin (audio) \
began\ -​ˈgan \; begun\ -​ˈgən \; beginning

Kids Definition of begin

1 : to do the first part of an action Please begin writing.
2 : to come into existence Our problems were just beginning.
3 : to start to have a feeling or thought I began to feel sick.
4 : to have a starting point The alphabet begins with the letter A.
5 : to do or succeed in the least degree I can't begin to explain.

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Comments on begin

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