\ 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

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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.”
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1687, after her husband abandoned her, Rachel Clinton was forced to beg from house to house. Longreads, "Demonology: A Woman’s Right to Fury," 10 June 2019 The master suite—which occupies the entire second floor—is dark and moody and begs you to kick back and relax. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Inside a Luxe Lincoln Park Home that Sacrifices Nothing," 16 Aug. 2019 After a while, my security guard started pushing him away, begging him to leave, go from there. Sydney Scott, Essence, "A$AP Rocky Found Guilty Of Assault, Will Serve No Jail Time," 14 Aug. 2019 Revisiting the work nearly 50 years later begs the question of what Thompson would write about American culture today, Holmquist-Wall said. Laurel Deppen, The Courier-Journal, "The 'Year of Gonzo' is Louisville's love letter to Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson," 26 July 2019 Mei needs at least 1,000 words to perform its diagnostics, which disqualified several conversations, including the one with my actual boyfriend, who was begged to text me exclusively on WhatsApp for a few days. Wired, "Flirty or Friendzone? New AI Scans Your Texts for True Love," 16 Sep. 2019 Dignity means … not begging to be heard, to be cared for. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "This London Gallery Is Working to Be One of the World’s Most Accessible Museums," 11 Sep. 2019 Most of the blame belongs to a raucous Raiders crowd at the Coliseum celebrating their team’s 24-16 victory over the Broncos while unleashing their fury on Brown, who begged his way out of town. Jon Becker, The Mercury News, "Raiders fans roast Antonio Brown, then ‘the anti-AB’ keys win on MNF," 10 Sep. 2019 Doctors and nurses from South Florida arrived at Treasure Cay in the Bahamas on Thursday to treat hundreds of residents standing in the hot sun, begging to leave the small island. Cindy Krischer Goodman,, "Bahamas residents beg to leave as doctors treat their needs after Hurricane Dorian," 5 Sep. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for beg

Last Updated

2 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for beg

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

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More Definitions for beg


How to pronounce beg (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of beg

: to ask people for money or food
: to ask (someone) in a very serious and emotional way for something needed or wanted very much
: to ask for (something needed or wanted very much) in a very serious and emotional way


\ 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on beg

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for beg

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with beg

Spanish Central: Translation of beg

Nglish: Translation of beg for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on beg

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a calculated move

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