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 In the weeks following, NEXTA and other Telegram channels published dates and locations for where demonstrations would begin -- playing an essential role in coordinating the largely leaderless movement. Patrick Reevell, ABC News, 30 May 2021 Now, attorneys in the case are looking to pivot back to the courtroom, asking a judge to force the Legislature's hand or prepare for a trial that would not begin until 2022 or later. Erin Golden, Star Tribune, 29 May 2021 Few directors have the willingness to take the kind of creative artistic risk demonstrated by Mr. Woods to have an act with no words except for a few dulcet reminders from the theater manager of when Act III will begin. Robert G. Eccles, Forbes, 29 May 2021 Questions of ethics arise because embryos are destroyed as the cells are extracted, such as: When does human life begin? Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 28 May 2021 Even when China belatedly allowed a WHO investigation to visit—over a year after the outbreak, when normal protocol would be to begin immediately—team members complained of insufficient access and data. Time, 28 May 2021 Most early-season hurricanes develop in a small area of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico where prime conditions begin early. Athena Masson, The Conversation, 27 May 2021 Just because a public health emergency exists doesn’t mean the FDA can begin issuing emergency use authorizations. Dallas News, 27 May 2021 Acting village administrator Lisa Scheiner said the village would monitor the area, adding construction work cannot begin until 7 a.m. daily. Steve Schering, chicagotribune.com, 27 May 2021

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

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

2 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Begin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/begin. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on begin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for begin

Nglish: Translation of begin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of begin for Arabic Speakers

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