begin

verb
be·​gin | \ bi-ˈgin How to pronounce begin (audio) , bē-\
began\ bi-​ˈgan How to pronounce began (audio) , bē-​ \; begun\ bi-​ˈgən How to pronounce begun (audio) , bē-​ \; beginning

Definition of begin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to do the first part of an action : go into the first part of a process : start began by introducing herself will have to begin again
2a : to come into existence : arise Their problems were just beginning.
b : to have a starting point Her career began in Chicago. Prices begin at $110 per night.
3 : to do or succeed in the least degree I can't begin to tell you how pleased I am.

transitive verb

1 : to set about the activity of : start The lecture begins at 10:00. have all ready begun construction
2a : to bring into being : found credited with beginning the movement In 1819, he married the daughter of a … chief and began a dynasty that would last for nearly 200 years.— Robert F. Oaks
b : originate, invent began their tradition
to begin with
: as the first thing to be considered

Begin

biographical name
Be·​gin | \ ˈbā-gin How to pronounce Begin (audio) \

Definition of Begin (Entry 2 of 2)

Me*na*chem \ mə-​ˈnä-​ḵəm How to pronounce mə-ˈnä-ḵəm (audio)\ 1913–1992 prime minister of Israel (1977–83)

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Choose the Right Synonym for begin

Verb

begin, commence, start, initiate, inaugurate, usher in mean to take the first step in a course, process, or operation. begin, start, and commence are often interchangeable. begin, opposed to end, is the most general. begin a trip began dancing start, opposed to stop, applies especially to first actions, steps, or stages. the work started slowly commence can be more formal or bookish than begin or start. commence firing commenced a conversation initiate implies taking a first step in a process or series that is to continue. initiated diplomatic contacts inaugurate suggests a beginning of some formality or notion of significance. the discovery of penicillin inaugurated a new era in medicine usher in is somewhat less weighty than inaugurate. ushered in a period of economic decline

Examples of begin in a Sentence

Verb

They will begin construction on the new school soon. I got the job and I begin work on Monday! She'll begin the lecture at 10. He plans to begin the project later this week. They both began their careers at the local newspaper. The university began accepting applications in November. I had just begun eating when the phone rang. She interrupted as soon as I began to speak. Now that I've begun, I'll go on till I finish. I began the quilt last month.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The 54-year-old personality has been battling a series of medical emergencies that began on Thursday, December 20. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "'Wendy Williams Show' Fans Think One of Her Guest Hosts Could Replace the Queen of Tea for Good," 13 Feb. 2019 So this bonanza does not begin when the largest shareholders are revealed on an S-1 filing just a few weeks before the actual IPO. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "The 2019 IPO class headlined by Uber will create a ton of new wealth. Will the billions go to mansions or missions?," 20 Dec. 2018 All six Premier League clubs that began the season in the main draws of the highly prestigious Champions League and the second-tier Europa League have progressed to the quarterfinals. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "The Premier League’s Big Six Is Out to Conquer Europe," 15 Mar. 2019 In one ongoing experiment that began in 1959, researchers in Siberia led by the late Dmitry Belyaev bred only the most docile silver foxes (a variant of standard red foxes, not George Clooney and his ilk). Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Why Are Some Animals Impossible To Domesticate?," 13 Mar. 2019 To allow for more inclusion in the Games, the IOC announced in 2014 a number of changes to the structure and format of the Olympics that would begin in 2020. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "These Are the New Sports We May See at the 2024 Summer Olympics," 27 Feb. 2019 After a triumphant comeback that began in 1954, Coco Chanel withdrew into a shadowy and embittered old age and died at 87 in 1971. Kennedy Fraser, Vogue, "From the Archives: Karl Lagerfeld, The Impresario," 19 Feb. 2019 In 2018, users have reported that their Echo speakers began spontaneously laughing, while a family in Portland said their device recorded and sent conversations to a colleague without their knowledge. Natt Garun, The Verge, "How to hear (and delete) every conversation your Amazon Alexa has recorded," 28 Feb. 2019 Thanks for visiting today and congrats to you and @justinbieber on your 💍💍💍 let the fun begin! Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "What to Consider Before Getting Veneers on Your Teeth," 28 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'begin.' 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 begin

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for begin

Verb

Middle English beginnen, going back to Old English beginnan, from be- be- + -ginnan, going back to Germanic *genn-a-, verbal base of uncertain meaning and origin occurring only with prefixes, found also in Old English onginnan "to be at a starting point, start," Old High German beginnan, Gothic duginnan

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Learn More about begin

Dictionary Entries near begin

beggingly

Beghard

begild

begin

Begin

beginner

beginner's luck

Statistics for begin

Last Updated

20 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for begin

The first known use of begin was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for begin

begin

verb

English Language Learners Definition of begin

: to do the first part of an action : to start doing something
: to start to work on, produce, or give attention to (something)
: to cause (something) to start

begin

verb
be·​gin | \ bi-ˈgin How to pronounce begin (audio) \
began\ -​ˈgan \; begun\ -​ˈgən \; beginning

Kids Definition of begin

1 : to do the first part of an action Please begin writing.
2 : to come into existence Our problems were just beginning.
3 : to start to have a feeling or thought I began to feel sick.
4 : to have a starting point The alphabet begins with the letter A.
5 : to do or succeed in the least degree I can't begin to explain.

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More from Merriam-Webster on begin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with begin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for begin

Spanish Central: Translation of begin

Nglish: Translation of begin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of begin for Arabic Speakers

Comments on begin

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