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

After a brief discussion, a crew chief review commenced. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres notes: Machado’s long single; home run record; Paddack back Saturday," 20 June 2019 Pride month has officially commenced, starting June 1. Tainaya Nash, House Beautiful, "Celebrating Pride in New York City? Hotels.com Is Giving Away Free Rooms in Celebration," 5 June 2019 There is no orientation session; the waiting just commences. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "Ireland’s Strange, Cruel System for Asylum Seekers," 26 May 2019 Construction commenced, and the designers got to work. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Best Room Wins Episode Two Steps Up to the Challenge of Contemporary," 9 May 2019 Her Democratic Party has commenced a full throw-down—with itself. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "The Democratic Crackup," 7 Mar. 2019 Prince Harry commenced a three-day trip to Morocco on Saturday, traveling into Casablanca Airport on a commercial flight. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Arrives in Morocco Wearing the Most Stunning Valentino Cape Dress," 23 Feb. 2019 The Championship playoffs commence this weekend with Derby County hosting Fulham on Friday, before Middlesbrough entertain Aston Villa at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday afternoon. SI.com, "What Aston Villa Must Do to Beat Middlesbrough & Qualify for Championship Playoff Final," 10 May 2018 The work is part of a three-year study commenced in 2018. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ruffed grouse drumming counts up 41% statewide," 15 June 2019

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

7 Jul 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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