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

Brewster badly damaged ligaments in his ankle and knee after a bad fall and was ruled out for a year, just as Sancho, Foden and the rest were beginning to become household names. SI.com, "Rhian Brewster: It's Time to Finally See What England's Other Wonderkid Can Do," 17 Sep. 2019 The rest of the week should be mostly sunny and warm before the chances of rain and thunderstorms begin to increase Saturday and Sunday, forecasters said. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas, chicagotribune.com, "Foggy conditions return during morning commute in Cook, Lake counties," 17 Sep. 2019 The Cougars open 19-6A play in Week 5, one day after the Timberwolves begin 11-5A DI action. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Cinco Ranch football hits the road for non-district finale against Cedar Park," 17 Sep. 2019 Researchers behind the new report conducted genetic analyses of 17 historical museum specimens, which were collected before the mass relocation of giant salamanders began, and tissue samples from critters that exist in the wild. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "New Giant Salamander Species Is the World’s Largest Amphibian," 17 Sep. 2019 The group recorded 1,081 violent acts, the most since the group began tracking these incidents. Kate Smith, CBS News, "Violence against abortion clinics hit a record high last year. Doctors say it's getting worse.," 17 Sep. 2019 The combination of events has created a sense of momentum around Warren that will be tested in the coming months, as primary voters and competitors begin focussing more narrowly on the candidates left in the race. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, "Elizabeth Warren’s Crusade Against Corruption," 17 Sep. 2019 It's been six years since Rothman began his research, crisscrossing the country to scour old documents such as property transactions in Louisiana, court cases in Mississippi, ship manifests in Alexandria. Hannah Natanson, Anchorage Daily News, "They were once America’s cruelest, richest slave traders. Why does no one know their names?," 17 Sep. 2019 Oil prices spiked shortly after trading began Monday after an attack on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities Saturday that knocked out more than five percent of global oil supply and halted output of more than half of Saudi Arabia's daily exports. NBC News, "Oil prices spike after attack on Saudi facilities hits global supply," 16 Sep. 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

16 Oct 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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