\ 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 Shop owners and corporate leaders all but begged the commissioners to consider not only the potential damage to businesses, but also the unintended consequences for people who quit traditional cigarettes. oregonlive, "Flavored vaping and tobacco ban proposal for Multnomah County meets impassioned opposition and support," 13 Nov. 2019 On a national scale, however, there apparently aren’t that many people begging NASCAR to take their money. Kent Somers, azcentral, "Arizona stands ready to take over NASCAR's championship race in 2020," 10 Nov. 2019 Neighbor Shahram Saki, 61, said in a phone interview that some fleeing partygoers hid in the bushes in his front yard and others begged to be let into his home. Anchorage Daily News, "Airbnb bans ‘party houses’ after California shooting kills 5," 3 Nov. 2019 And no amount of begging could bring to Paris the Salvator Mundi painting that sold in 2017 for a record $450.3 million, reportedly to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Vivienne Walt/paris, Time, "500 Years Later, Leonardo Da Vinci Is Still a Hit—and a Headache— for the Louvre," 31 Oct. 2019 And in April, their 18-year-old daughter Gia started a petition begging Trump to intervene in Joe’s deportation. Michele Corriston,, "Why RHONJ's Teresa and Joe Giudice Didn't Ask Donald Trump to Pardon Them for Their Crimes," 27 Oct. 2019 The wrenching spectacle of child polio victims begging in that nation’s streets, with their twiglike legs folded beneath them, is now history. Richard Conniff, Scientific American, "Two Strains of Polio Down, One to Go," 23 Oct. 2019 Cape Breton, Canada Just east of Prince Edward Island is Cape Breton, a rocky, rugged island begging to be hiked. Valerie Marino, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Islands in the World: 2019 Readers' Choice Awards," 7 Oct. 2019 Rules at the two Front Range locations include urging our four-legged friends to avoid the three B’s: begging, barking and biting. Allyson Reedy, The Know, "These dog-friendly Colorado restaurants have special menus just for your pup," 7 Aug. 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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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

16 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Beg.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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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

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


not agreeing with established beliefs

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