commence

verb
com·​mence | \kə-ˈmen(t)s \
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

Construction will commence in the third quarter of 2019, HyperloopTT claimed. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Hyperloop startup says construction on Abu Dhabi track will commence in Q3 2019," 27 Oct. 2018 The Army has selected three candidates for the new improved ghillie system (IGS) and according to the service’s PEO Soldier program, lab and field testing will commence in November. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Army Is Testing a New Sniper Suit," 4 Oct. 2018 The proceedings will commence with opening statements from Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Kavanaugh, Ford face the hot seat in Supreme battle; Kavanaugh a victim of mistaken identity?," 28 Sep. 2018 Spanning the whole night, the proceedings will commence with a a hearty meal worthy of a royal, followed by entertainment (and yes, period dress is acceptable). Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "You Can Now Spend the Night in Hampton Court, One of Henry VIII's Favorite Palaces," 14 Sep. 2018 Next will come changes onboard its aircraft, an effort American says will commence in November. Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY, "American Airlines is latest to ax plastic straws, stir sticks," 10 July 2018 Lamoriello, 75, will become the team’s general manager and will commence the search for a new coach. Allan Kreda, New York Times, "Islanders Shake Things Up by Dropping Garth Snow and Doug Weight," 5 June 2018 But their campaign would commence in Ulsan against an altogether more difficult opponent: four-time winners Brazil. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 4 Weeks to Go - Turkish Delight, 2002's Unlikely Bronze Medallists," 24 May 2018 October is finally here, and that means Halloween decorating can officially commence. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "These Halloween Stair Decals Will Instantly Transform Your Home Into a Haunted House," 7 Oct. 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

8 Dec 2018

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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

: to begin

commence

verb
com·​mence | \kə-ˈmens \
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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