begin

verb
be·​gin | \ bi-ˈgin How to pronounce begin (audio) , bē- \
began\ bi-​ˈgan How to pronounce begin (audio) , bē-​ \; begun\ bi-​ˈgən How to pronounce begin (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 Begin (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 More rounds of vaccinations won’t begin until Jan. 11 because of vaccine shipment schedules, the department said. oregonlive, "Coronavirus in Oregon: 1,010 new cases, 2 deaths as just 24% of vaccines distributed have been given," 2 Jan. 2021 Zink did not immediately announce a timeline, but said seniors would likely begin receiving vaccinations in late January or early February. Annie Berman, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaskans over 65 will be the next group eligible for COVID-19 vaccine, followed by ‘frontline essential workers’ and others," 1 Jan. 2021 The weather service in Birmingham said the window for possible severe storms across central Alabama will begin in the west around midnight and shift eastward through Friday morning. Leigh Morgan, al, "New Year’s severe weather threat: Storms possible tonight and into Friday across much of Alabama," 31 Dec. 2020 The department said payments would begin for Americans with direct deposit set up through the Internal Revenue Service as soon as Tuesday night. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, "Live politics updates: Trump to return to DC early, GOP senator says he's 'playing with fire' in contesting election," 31 Dec. 2020 Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the $600 checks would begin to go out Wednesday. Time, "Trump's Push for $2,000 Checks Flops as the GOP-led Senate Won't Vote," 31 Dec. 2020 The sector could begin bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels in 2021, if travel increases and global fuel demand rebounds, the International Energy Agency said in a November report. Washington Post, "Researchers unveil new method for converting carbon dioxide into jet fuel," 31 Dec. 2020 Work on the building will begin immediately after approvals are granted, Saied said. Carrie Napoleon, chicagotribune.com, "Smart tech company closes on Gary land for proposed plant; hundreds of jobs planned," 31 Dec. 2020 Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said those checks will begin to go out Wednesday. Lisa Mascaro, ajc, "GOP-led Senate rejects vote on Trump's push for $2K checks," 30 Dec. 2020

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

Time Traveler for begin

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for begin

Last Updated

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Begin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/begin. Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for begin

begin

verb
How to pronounce Begin (audio)

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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Comments on begin

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