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 drinkery completed its soft opening and commenced with regular business hours on Sept. 10. Chris Shelton, Houston Chronicle, "Roundups: Crave Hot Dogs & Barbecue arrives in Generation Park area," 14 Sep. 2019 The story of that ecocide is narrated in the Mahabharata, an epic which commences with a great sacrifice conducted by Emperor Janmejaya. Girish Shahane, Quartz India, "The Amazon fires have a 3,000-year-old parallel in the Indian epic Mahabharata," 30 Aug. 2019 Gates will open at 2:30 p.m. and the event will commence at 3:00 p.m. and last approximately two hours. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Legion FC notes: Key midfielders finding form," 26 July 2019 Research shows that nearly a quarter of antidepressant prescriptions are never filled and 30 to 60 percent of all patients commencing treatment with antidepressants stop taking the medication within the first 12 weeks. Ashley Mateo, Glamour, "Women Are Ditching Their Antidepressants at Higher Rates Than Men—The Reasons Are Complicated," 20 June 2019 Photo: Sotheby’s Other auctions are happening amid the 50th anniversary of NASA’s lunar missions, which commenced in December 1968 with the launch of Apollo 8, the first human voyage around the moon. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Your Chance to Own a Piece of the Moon," 25 Nov. 2018 What does that mean for Auburn’s receiving corps with one final tune-up this weekend before commencing SEC play next Saturday at No. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, "With Seth Williams out, what’s next for Auburn’s wide receivers against Kent State?," 13 Sep. 2019 Romero, the son of former Red Sox infielder Ed Romero Sr., worked as a Florida state prosecutor after graduating from law school before commencing his front-office career in 2006. BostonGlobe.com, "With Dave Dombrowski out, who’s in charge of the team fielded by the Red Sox?," 10 Sep. 2019 Though Daniel tries his best to rescue Grace from the ritual that the family needs to complete before dawn in order to stop the curse from commencing, Grace is eventually put on a table and prepared to be sacrificed. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "Everything You Need To Know About The Crazy, Bloody Game In Ready Or Not," 24 Aug. 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

13 Oct 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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