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

The force of the explosion had torn a great hole in the starboard side of the ship and the vessel was already commencing to list. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: In 1905 the gunboat Bennington exploded in San Diego harbor," 21 July 2019 As proposed, the GAIP will take seven years to complete and likely won’t commence for at least nine months. Jeff Herdman, Daily Pilot, "Commentary: General aviation compromise moves Newport Beach closer to its goals," 18 July 2019 The dogs, pets of lodge staff and guests, stuck close to their humans until the dancing commenced. Dina Mishev, Dallas News, "This lodge in the Oregon wilderness is anything but wild," 8 July 2019 But Sterling-Cole put in the work during the offseason, shedding 25 pounds, and was in prime shape when spring drills commenced. Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "ASU scouting report: Four quarterbacks still vying for starting spot vacated by Manny Wilkins," 6 July 2019 The Xinzhou district government attaches great importance to the voice of the people and promises to the people that the project will not commence if the masses do not agree. Robyn Dixon, latimes.com, "First Hong Kong protested. Now it’s Wuhan, China. What makes it Beijing’s latest headache?," 5 July 2019 Tactical laser tag starts at $25 and commences Wednesday-Sunday (check times online). Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "Tank America in Melbourne offers a 17-ton tank-driving adventure," 3 July 2019 The presentations complete, the participants voted by phone app, and the cocktail party commenced. Anne Saker, Cincinnati.com, "Hackathon at UC focuses on cancer research; one possible solution won a $100,000 prize," 12 June 2019 The club have been linked to a move to German rivals Adidas in a deal that would likely commence in in 2019. SI.com, "'Bloody Hideous': Arsenal Fans Are Less Than Impressed With Shockingly Ugly 2018/19 Home Kit," 1 May 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

18 Aug 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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