Definition of begin
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.
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. Oaksb : originate, invent began their tradition
to begin with
: as the first thing to be considered
Examples of begin in a sentence
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.
Origin and Etymology of begin
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
First Known Use: before 12th century
Synonym Discussion of begin
BEGIN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of begin for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of begin for Students
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.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up begin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).