Begin | Definition of Begin by Merriam-Webster

begin

verb
be·​gin | \ bi-ˈgin How to pronounce begin (audio) , bē- \
began\ bi-​ˈgan How to pronounce begin (audio) , bē-​ \; begun\ bi-​ˈgən How to pronounce begin (audio) , bē-​ \; beginning

Definition of begin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to do the first part of an action : go into the first part of a process : start began by introducing herself will have to begin again
2a : to come into existence : arise Their problems were just beginning.
b : to have a starting point Her career began in Chicago. Prices begin at $110 per night.
3 : to do or succeed in the least degree I can't begin to tell you how pleased I am.

transitive verb

1 : to set about the activity of : start The lecture begins at 10:00. have all ready begun construction
2a : to bring into being : found credited with beginning the movement In 1819, he married the daughter of a … chief and began a dynasty that would last for nearly 200 years.— Robert F. Oaks
b : originate, invent began their tradition
to begin with
: as the first thing to be considered

Begin

biographical name
Be·​gin | \ ˈbā-gin How to pronounce Begin (audio) \

Definition of Begin (Entry 2 of 2)

Me*na*chem \ mə-​ˈnä-​ḵəm How to pronounce Begin (audio) \ 1913–1992 prime minister of Israel (1977–83)

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Choose the Right Synonym for begin

Verb

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 begin in a Sentence

Verb They will begin construction on the new school soon. I got the job and I begin work on Monday! She'll begin the lecture at 10. He plans to begin the project later this week. They both began their careers at the local newspaper. The university began accepting applications in November. I had just begun eating when the phone rang. She interrupted as soon as I began to speak. Now that I've begun, I'll go on till I finish. I began the quilt last month.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The deal likely will be made official next week, sources said, and Hall’s 10 days won’t begin until the contract is finalized. Roy Parry, orlandosentinel.com, "Magic to sign big man Donta Hall to 10-day contract," 9 Apr. 2021 Winker didn't begin participating in baseball activities again until Wednesday. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, "'How do you do that?': Cincinnati Reds reliever Cionel Pérez impresses teammates," 9 Apr. 2021 The Holocaust did not begin with concentration camps, ghettos or deportations. Sara J. Bloomfield, Time, "The Holocaust Began Not With Concentration Camps, But With Hateful Rhetoric. That Part of the Story Cannot Be Forgotten," 8 Apr. 2021 Retail marijuana dispensaries wouldn't begin until 2024 as originally passed in February, but the legislation would allow possession of up to an ounce of marijuana as soon as July. NBC News, "Virginia lawmakers agree to move up marijuana legalization to summer 2021," 8 Apr. 2021 One golf adage holds that the Masters doesn't begin until the back nine on Sunday. Star Tribune, "So-called favorites stray early at the Masters," 8 Apr. 2021 Although the Chinese New Year was a factor in February trade in 2020, the influence on export-import trade of Covid-19 did not begin until March. Ken Roberts, Forbes, "2021 U.S. Exports To China Up 43% From Pre-Covid 2019, Imports At Record Level," 8 Apr. 2021 Fishnet stockings on a first lady doesn’t even begin to register on the list of problems this nation needs to tackle. Heidi Stevens, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Let’s stop dragging out Melania Trump’s nudes every time we want to defend a first lady," 8 Apr. 2021 The Reynolds and Parkrose districts, both of which enroll a high number of Black and Latino students, got an exemption from Brown’s order and did not begin classroom instruction for elementary schoolers by her deadline. oregonlive, "In Oregon, more than 1 in 3 public school students now get regular classroom instruction," 8 Apr. 2021

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

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for begin

Verb

Middle English beginnen, going back to Old English beginnan, from be- be- + -ginnan, going back to Germanic *genn-a-, verbal base of uncertain meaning and origin occurring only with prefixes, found also in Old English onginnan "to be at a starting point, start," Old High German beginnan, Gothic duginnan

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Learn More about begin

Time Traveler for begin

Time Traveler

The first known use of begin was before the 12th century

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Statistics for begin

Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Begin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/begin. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for begin

begin

verb

English Language Learners Definition of begin

: to do the first part of an action : to start doing something
: to start to work on, produce, or give attention to (something)
: to cause (something) to start

begin

verb
be·​gin | \ bi-ˈgin How to pronounce begin (audio) \
began\ -​ˈgan \; begun\ -​ˈgən \; beginning

Kids Definition of begin

1 : to do the first part of an action Please begin writing.
2 : to come into existence Our problems were just beginning.
3 : to start to have a feeling or thought I began to feel sick.
4 : to have a starting point The alphabet begins with the letter A.
5 : to do or succeed in the least degree I can't begin to explain.

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More from Merriam-Webster on begin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for begin

Nglish: Translation of begin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of begin for Arabic Speakers

Comments on begin

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