be·​get | \ bi-ˈget How to pronounce beget (audio) , bē- \
begot\ bi-​ˈgät How to pronounce begot (audio) , bē-​ \ also begat\ bi-​ˈgat How to pronounce begat (audio) , bē-​ \; begotten\ bi-​ˈgä-​tᵊn How to pronounce begotten (audio) , bē-​ \ or begot; begetting

Definition of beget

transitive verb

1 : to procreate as the father : sire He died without begetting an heir.
2 : to produce especially as an effect or outgrowth Violence only begets more violence.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from beget

begetter noun

Examples of beget in a Sentence

He died without begetting an heir. one change in the natural environment will beget others
Recent Examples on the Web For now, most media outlets are unwilling to make a change if no one else is, creating an inertia loop whereby inaction begets inaction. James Griffiths, CNN, "Japan asked the international media to change how we write their names. No one listened," 23 Mar. 2020 Both have become franchises. Nailed It! begat Nailed It! Judy Berman, Time, "From Love Is Blind to The Circle, Netflix Is Getting Terrifyingly Good at Reality TV," 12 Feb. 2020 Each regression seemed to beget progress in their development soon after. Jessica Wapner, New York Times, "Are Sleep Regressions Real?," 15 Apr. 2020 That entails managing Henry’s volatile emotions: anxiety about begetting a legitimate male heir, shame at growing old and obese, eruptions of self-pity. Judith Shulevitz, The Atlantic, "Hilary Mantel Takes Thomas Cromwell Down," 5 Apr. 2020 One thing certain in these uncertain times: Self-isolating and shelter-in-place directives are begetting many challenges for parents with school-aged children, who are now unexpected taking on the teacher's role while schools are closed. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "How to Optimize Your Space (and Prepare Your Kids) for Home-Schooling," 23 Mar. 2020 Le Comptoir du Vin is owned by chef Will Mester and his partner, Rosemary Liss, whose travels to small wine bars abroad begat ideas for a place of their own. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "It’s tough to score a table at this tiny Baltimore bistro, but you’ll be so happy you did," 11 Mar. 2020 The authors describe 14 lewd conduct arrests at an Echo Park club called the Black Cat on New Year’s Eve 1967, which begot a 500-person protest that predated New York’s Stonewall uprising by two years. Los Angeles Times, "Review: How L.A.’s ’60s movements fought for justice — and sometimes even achieved it," 13 Apr. 2020 The medical community and laypersons alike often blamed victims of the disease for their own suffering, believing that vicious, debauched, and unhygienic lifestyles begat typhus. Timothy Kent Holliday, Smithsonian Magazine, "What an 1836 Typhus Outbreak Taught the Medical World About Epidemics," 21 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beget.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of beget

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for beget

Middle English begeten, beyeten, going back to Old English begietan "to get, beget," from be- be- + gietan "to get entry 1"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about beget

Time Traveler for beget

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for beget

Last Updated

15 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Beget.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for beget


How to pronounce beget (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of beget

formal : to cause (something) to happen or exist
old-fashioned + literary : to become the father of (someone)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on beget

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for beget

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with beget

Spanish Central: Translation of beget

Nglish: Translation of beget for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beget for Arabic Speakers

Comments on beget

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


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!