verb be·gin \bi-ˈgin, bē-\

: 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

be·gan \-ˈgan\ be·gun \-ˈgən\ be·gin·ning

Full Definition of BEGIN

intransitive verb
:  to do the first part of an action :  go into the first part of a process :  start
a :  to come into existence :  arise
b :  to have a starting point
:  to do or succeed in the least degree <I can't begin to tell you how pleased I am>
transitive verb
:  to set about the activity of :  start
a :  to bring into being :  found
b :  originate, invent
to begin with
:  as the first thing to be considered

Origin of BEGIN

Middle English beginnen, from Old English beginnan; akin to Old High German biginnan to begin, Old English onginnan
First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of BEGIN

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>.


biographical name Be·gin \ˈbā-gin\

Definition of BEGIN

Me*na*chem \mə-ˈnä-əm\ 1913–1992 prime min. of Israel (1977–83)
BEGIN Defined for Kids


verb be·gin \bi-ˈgin\
be·gan \-ˈgan\be·gun \-ˈgən\be·gin·ning

Definition of BEGIN for Kids

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


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