\ 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 The portraits have become a hit on social media, where people share images of them or beg for their pets to be turned into works of art. Joseph Pisani, ajc, "Chewy sends pet paintings to keep customers from straying," 1 Jan. 2021 The spectacle this summer of white penitents kneeling before their black brethren to beg forgiveness for their sins was weird only when viewed from a secular perspective. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "How the Woke Stole Christmas," 21 Dec. 2020 Jon Rahm did what toonamimt patrons beg all players to do on the Tuesday and Wednesday practice days: Skip a ball from in front of the tee, across the pond and onto the green. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's Morning Line: The Cincinnati Reds don't play in Trevor Bauer's league anymore," 11 Nov. 2020 No family to control, no mother to beg to stay inside, to stop making so many trips to the damn grocery store. Kali Fajardo-anstine, Harper's BAZAAR, "But You Can’t Stay Here," 16 Dec. 2020 His fans will beg him to do it in unexpected, real-life settings—such as at the supermarket, in a leafy park, or even underneath the Eiffel Tower. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "TikTok Is Obsessed With This Model’s Runway Walk," 6 Dec. 2020 Health officials continue to beg Americans to stay home during Thanksgiving, but for many, the warnings are coming too late. Washington Post, "Live updates: Health officials renew pleas to stay home over Thanksgiving as millions flock to airports," 23 Nov. 2020 Illinois in particular reported more than 15,000 new coronavirus cases on Friday and a seven-day test positivity rate exceeding 14 percent, prompting Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) and state health authorities to beg the public to take heed. Author: Tony Romm, Anchorage Daily News, "Businesses fight against new coronavirus restrictions as US faces deadly new surge," 16 Nov. 2020 Meanwhile, fire managers and ecologists continue to beg for resources to complete more forest-management projects. Amanda Monthei, The Atlantic, "The West’s Best Offense Against Wildfires Is Failing," 28 Oct. 2020

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

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Beg.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on beg

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