\ 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 This mesmerizing collection would make a superb introduction to Murakami for anyone who hasn’t yet fallen under his spell; his legion of devoted fans will gobble it up and beg for more., "For Murakami, a return to form in ‘First Person Singular,’ a new story collection that sparkles," 1 Apr. 2021 As downtown Minneapolis residents can attest, outside Target's store entrance on a daily basis are huge crowds of youngsters who linger, block, harass, tease, jeer, beg for money and put total fear into regular customers or passersby. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: End-of-life issues, loitering laws, Black Minnesota musicians," 5 Mar. 2021 Jenna Ryan, a real estate agent from Dallas who has been charged with illegally entering the building, appeared on local television on Friday to beg Trump for clemency. Anchorage Daily News, "‘Trump said to do so’: Accounts of rioters who say the president spurred them to rush the Capitol could be pivotal testimony," 16 Jan. 2021 Various European regulators and politicians spent this week claiming the Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine—the only one currently widely available in the EU—might be unsafe, only to rethink and now beg people to start accepting it. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Europe’s Gang That Couldn’t Shot Straight," 19 Mar. 2021 The scarcity drove a panicked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to beg airplane, automotive and even vacuum cleaner manufacturers — with no experience in producing medical devices — to retool their assembly lines and invent new machines. Washington Post, "Ventilators were embraced as pandemic lifesavers. Now some covid patients wrongly fear the machines will kill them.," 16 Mar. 2021 A few weeks ago, Facebook went ahead with a different approach, airing commercials that beg users to allow Facebook to track them on iPhone and iPad. Chris Smith, BGR, "Here’s why Facebook is so scared of the iPhone’s new privacy features," 12 Mar. 2021 Vision and the twins beg Wanda to help them, and Wanda reluctantly closes the Hex back up. Abraham Riesman, Vulture, "WandaVision Finale: Ding, Dong, the Witch Is Sad," 5 Mar. 2021 Intensive care units are nearing their limits across Brazil, as health experts and state officials beg the government to impose strictermeasures to reduce coronavirus transmission. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "It's not yet time to relax the Covid-19 restrictions," 2 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for beg

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for beg

Last Updated

4 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Beg.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for beg



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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Comments on beg

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