begin

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

The moment those swirly prints appeared on the Spring 2019 runways, Hadid, like a true trendsetting model, began wearing them immediately. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Gigi Hadid, Lover of Tie-Dye, Gives the Groovy Look a Coachella Spin," 14 Apr. 2019 Take advantage of the Spring Bonus sale at Sephora either online at Sephora.com or in-stores, beginning April 26 for VIB Rouge. Alexis Rhiannon, Allure, "Sephora's Spring Bonus Sale Offers VIB Rouge Members Serious Savings," 12 Apr. 2019 The 2019 Boston Marathon takes place next Monday, April 15, 2019, with the first wave beginning at 9:02 A.M. EST. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "6 Things You Should Know Before Watching the 2019 Boston Marathon," 11 Apr. 2019 Initially founded in 1949, Coco Shop began as a crafts stand aimed to promote local artistry in Antigua and evolved into a clothing company known for it's tropical prints. Charlotte Chilton, Town & Country, "Coco Shop's Debut Collection Is the Only Thing You'll Need for Your Next Vacation," 9 Apr. 2019 Another five-part miniseries ran in 1984, which led to the regular series, also called G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, beginning on September 16, 1985. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "Yo, Joe: How a 12-Inch Soldier Doll Became a Toy Legend," 9 Apr. 2019 The pair—who first began dating in 2015—must have just skipped the red carpet, because they were spotted inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena together looking as in love as ever. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani Didn't Let the Miranda Lambert Drama Ruin Their ACMs," 8 Apr. 2019 At that point, Harry and William were on the cusp of beginning their military careers. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Royal Reporter Katie Nicholl on Harry and Meghan's Next Chapter," 8 Apr. 2019 This is how the adventure began, looking for what would be the ideal typology for a spacious food hall in Manhattan. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "A Mecca of Spanish Design and Food Opens in New York," 3 Apr. 2019

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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Learn More about begin

Dictionary Entries near begin

beggingly

Beghard

begild

begin

Begin

beginner

beginner's luck

Statistics for begin

Last Updated

17 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for begin

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

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More Definitions for begin

begin

verb

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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More from Merriam-Webster on begin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with begin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for begin

Spanish Central: Translation of begin

Nglish: Translation of begin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of begin for Arabic Speakers

Comments on begin

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