commence

verb
com·​mence | \ kə-ˈmen(t)s How to pronounce commence (audio) \
commenced; commencing

Definition of commence

transitive verb

: to enter upon : begin commence proceedings

intransitive verb

1 : to have or make a beginning : start
2 chiefly British : to take a degree at a university

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Other Words from commence

commencer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for commence

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 commence in a Sentence

Dear God, I thought, I've been infected by an earworm. My friend the Longhair says that's what you call songs that burrow into your head and commence chewing your brains. — Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly, 24 Apr./1 May 2009 He thereupon commenced giving me this fantastically boring lecture about how the only reason I want a stuffed chicken is because they look so good in a shop window, and that the moment I received one I'd start dreaming up ways to ditch it. — Douglas Coupland, Generation X, 1991 The policy would commence not only with the limiting of permits for the building of hotels and boats but with supervision—through expert architectural advice—of the construction of these boats and hotels … — William Styron, This Quiet Dust and Other Writings, (1953) 1982 "Why shoot, I thought you wanted to be a lawyer, you've already commenced going to court." The ladies laughed again. — Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 I have commenced two letters to send you before this, both of which displeased me before I got half done, and so I tore them up. — Abraham Lincoln, letter, 4 May 1837 The festivities will commence with a parade. Their contract commences in January. The court commenced criminal proceedings. The country has commenced preparations for war.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Big news out of Fraser's Ridge: As Starz announces today (April 16) that production on Season 5 of Outlander has commenced, BAZAAR.com can exclusively confirm stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan are officially producers on the series. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Caitriona Balfe & Sam Heughan Are Officially Producing on Outlander Season 5," 16 Apr. 2019 The tour commences on May 24, 2019 in Dublin, Ireland, and fans can expect drama. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Mel B and Geri Halliwell Once Hooked Up & It’s Causing All Kinds of Drama for the Spice Girls," 24 Mar. 2019 The company then commenced arbitration against her, which Ms. Brown paid Concierge to settle. WSJ, "Corrections & Amplifications," 3 Mar. 2019 Brokers report several new sales over the past week since hosting the event, including one purchase agreement that was signed by Daniels just moments before the panel discussion commenced. Gridiron Condominiums, The Seattle Times, "Pioneer Square condos host waterfront revival talk," 29 Mar. 2019 But, before tiny hands commence with hasty package ripping, the actual gifts—and the recipients—must be considered. Vogue, "Day 9: Impress the Under-10 Crowd," 12 Nov. 2018 The Bulls’ next game is at 5 p.m. Central Time Tuesday against Trae Young and the Hawks before the tournament portion of the Summer League commences Wednesday. Malika Andrews, chicagotribune.com, "Bulls stumble in second Summer League game," 9 July 2018 Before the 1991–92 campaign commenced, the Warriors figured their window was opening wider. Greg Bishop, SI.com, "Run TMC Lives on as the Rare Team Celebrated for Style Rather Than Record," 28 June 2018 The shortstop, who wasn’t even a certainty to play until just before her senior campaign commenced, hit .481 with a .556 on-base percentage as the team’s lead-off hitter. From Staff Reports, latimes.com, "Sports Briefs: Flintridge Prep boys’ squads earn state awards," 14 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for commence

Middle English comencen, from Anglo-French comencer, from Vulgar Latin *cominitiare, from Latin com- + Late Latin initiare to begin, from Latin, to initiate

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Statistics for commence

Last Updated

12 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for commence

The first known use of commence was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for commence

commence

verb

English Language Learners Definition of commence

formal : to begin

commence

verb
com·​mence | \ kə-ˈmens How to pronounce commence (audio) \
commenced; commencing

Kids Definition of commence

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More from Merriam-Webster on commence

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with commence

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for commence

Spanish Central: Translation of commence

Nglish: Translation of commence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of commence for Arabic Speakers

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