\ ˈbeg How to pronounce beg (audio) \
begged; begging

Definition of beg

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to ask for as a charity (see charity sense 1a) begging food from strangers begged him for some change
2a : to ask earnestly for : entreat beg forgiveness I beg your pardon.
b : to require as necessary or appropriate a scene that begged to be photographed
3 : evade, sidestep begged the real problems

intransitive verb

1 : to ask for alms children begging on the streets
2 : to ask earnestly begged for mercy
beg the question
1 : to elicit a question logically as a reaction or response the quarterback's injury begs the question of who will start in his place
2 : to pass over or ignore a question by assuming it to be established or settled

Definition of beg (Entry 2 of 2)

begin; beginning

Choose the Right Synonym for beg


beg, entreat, beseech, implore, supplicate, adjure, importune mean to ask urgently. beg suggests earnestness or insistence in the asking. they begged for help entreat implies an effort to persuade or to overcome resistance. entreated me to join them beseech and implore imply a deeply felt anxiety. I beseech you to have mercy implored her not to leave him supplicate suggests a posture of humility. with bowed heads they supplicated their Lord adjure implies advising as well as pleading. we were adjured to tell the truth importune suggests an annoying persistence in trying to break down resistance to a request. importuning viewers for contributions

Examples of beg in a Sentence

Verb A homeless man begs on that corner every day. children begging strangers for food children begging food from strangers He begged the doctor for medicine. She begged him to read the story again. He begged that she would forgive him. begging a favor of someone He's too proud to beg. “Does your dog know any tricks?” “She knows how to beg.” See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Sox would probably beg to differ with that damning characterization. Globe Staff,, 18 July 2022 President Joe Biden may beg to differ, but the chorus of prominent voices predicting a downturn in the world’s biggest economy is growing. Alan Murray, Fortune, 21 June 2022 Elon Musk would beg to differ on the value that E.S.G. adds. New York Times, 18 June 2022 Opponents of student loan forgiveness beg to differ, citing the potential cost of $1 trillion to cancel $50,000 of student loans for borrowers. Zack Friedman, Forbes, 4 June 2022 Erie Canal, New York Stretching some 365 miles from Albany, NY to Buffalo, NY and Lake Eerie, the Erie Canal is lined with 19th-century canal towns and modern boat marinas that beg you to set out on a boating adventure. Terry Ward, Travel + Leisure, 13 May 2022 With couches that beg for lounging, flat screen TVs and refreshments, the shop functions as more than a retail transactional spot. Georgann Yara, The Arizona Republic, 3 Mar. 2022 McCarthy’s cowardly quiescence to Trump — rightly blaming him for the events of Jan. 6, then tucking tail and scurrying to Mar-a-Lago to beg forgiveness — has been thoroughly documented. Los Angeles Times, 10 June 2022 Rather than destroy a uranium-enrichment plant, U.S. leaders would timidly beg the rogue nation to stop. WSJ, 9 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of beg


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for beg


Middle English beggen

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Time Traveler for beg

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Beg.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for beg


\ ˈbeg How to pronounce beg (audio) \
begged; begging

Kids Definition of beg

1 : to ask for money, food, or help as charity beg in the streets
2 : to ask as a favor in an earnest or polite way : plead

More from Merriam-Webster on beg

Nglish: Translation of beg for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beg for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about beg


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