be·​gin·​ning | \ bi-ˈgi-niŋ How to pronounce beginning (audio) , bē- \

Definition of beginning

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the point at which something begins : start It was clear from the beginning that she would win.
2 : the first part We missed the beginning of the movie.
3 : origin, source No one remembers what the beginning of the feud was.
4 : a rudimentary stage or early period usually used in pluralthe company's modest beginnings in an old warehouseShe came from humble beginnings.



Definition of beginning (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : just starting out a beginning writer
2a : being first or the first part the beginning chapters
b : introductory beginning chemistry

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Examples of beginning in a Sentence

Noun Go back to the beginning of the song. We were late, so we missed the beginning of the movie. The changes that have been made so far are just the beginning. There are many more changes still to come. He came from humble beginnings. the company's modest beginnings in an old warehouse Adjective the beginning part of the book is a portrait of Europe on the eve of the World War I a course in beginning geology for nonscience majors
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Reports indicate that snakes were sold in the local seafood market in Wuhan, raising the possibility that the 2019-nCoV might have jumped from the host species—bats—to snakes and then to humans at the beginning of this coronavirus outbreak. Haitao Guo, Scientific American, "Snakes Could Be the Original Source of the New Coronavirus Outbreak in China," 22 Jan. 2020 Odds of the first female president, which seemed so hopeful at the beginning of the 2020 race, have plummeted. Jenny Singer, Glamour, "The Women's March 2020 Is This Weekend. Go, So You Don't Have to Go Next Year.," 17 Jan. 2020 Factor that in along with tough access, inadequate parking, an unfamiliar location and a course with no history and the Trinity Forest experiment was doomed from the beginning. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, "Doomed from the start: The Byron Nelson’s short run at Trinity Forest wasn’t a failure, but it was always a bad idea," 12 Jan. 2020 Meghan and Harry had known what the job was from the beginning. Washington Post, "Meghan Markle just flipped the princess fantasy on its big crowned head," 10 Jan. 2020 Of course we were concerned and worried from the beginning. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: Good to see respect for our Constitution from the left," 26 Dec. 2019 The plans for the redesign, which stem from a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources order that the county repair the dam, has met with public criticism from the beginning. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Better delay than err': Latest Kletzsch Park dam proposal stalled by questions, concerns," 24 Dec. 2019 In this case, the evidence against the company appeared to be damning from the beginning. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "Seven French executives have been sentenced to prison over employee suicides," 20 Dec. 2019 From beginning to end, Pelosi has personally controlled the process. David Rohde, The New Yorker, "Nancy Pelosi’s Impeachment Gamble," 18 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This year, the same core four returns, however, Glendale coach Anthony Mohr has seven beginning golfers added to the team that will help build the future of the program. Glendale News-Press, "Girls’ Golf Preview: Trio of teams aim for improvement," 4 Sep. 2019 At the very beginning stages of our company, nobody had a lot of experience doing this. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Ari Aster’s breakout horror hit Hereditary is pants-wettingly scary," 8 June 2018 View the tour magazine online beginning June 2, contact the HCBA office at 817-573-4007 or email to request a free copy of the official tour magazine or to obtain a list of locations where a magazine may be picked up. star-telegram, "Hood County Builders Association | Showcase of New Homes," 2 June 2017 Involving your makeup artist and hair stylist from the very beginning stages of the wedding planning process is a good way to ensure cohesiveness. Meg Storm, Town & Country, "The 10 Dos and Don'ts of Bridal Beauty," 4 Oct. 2016

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


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for beginning


Middle English biginning, from gerund of beginnen "to begin"


from present participle of begin

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Time Traveler for beginning

Time Traveler

The first known use of beginning was in the 12th century

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Statistics for beginning

Last Updated

26 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Beginning.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for beginning


How to pronounce beginning (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of beginning

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the point or time at which something begins : a starting point
: the first part of something
: an early stage or period



English Language Learners Definition of beginning (Entry 2 of 2)

: involving or learning about the simple or basic parts of a subject


be·​gin·​ning | \ bi-ˈgi-niŋ How to pronounce beginning (audio) \

Kids Definition of beginning

1 : the point at which something begins the beginning of the year
2 : the first part the beginning of the song

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Comments on beginning

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


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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