Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[kuh-mens] /kəˈmɛns/
verb (used with or without object), commenced, commencing.
to begin; start.
Origin of commence
1250-1300; Middle English commencen < Anglo-French, Middle French comencer < Vulgar Latin *cominitiāre, equivalent to Latin com- com- + initiāre to begin; see initiate
Related forms
commenceable, adjective
commencer, noun
recommence, verb, recommenced, recommencing.
uncommenced, adjective
well-commenced, adjective
originate, inaugurate.
Synonym Study
See begin. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for commences
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Instead of that he points at Phinney and commences to laugh.

    The Depot Master Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Texas, feelin' like the common eye is on him, commences to grow restless.

    Faro Nell and Her Friends Alfred Henry Lewis
  • Their year commences with the month of Farvardin, and ends with the month of Spendarmad.

    Les Parsis D. Menant
  • Let us take the case of the youth or man who commences the study of a foreign language.

    The Aural System Anonymous
  • Evelyn shies at that, and commences to hand Jarvis the frappéd smile.

    Shorty McCabe Sewell Ford
  • It commences at half past three and continues about half an hour.

    The Teacher Jacob Abbott
  • The young man does as he is told, and commences his journey on the Tuesday.

    Russian Fairy Tales W. R. S. Ralston
  • I opened it at that part where the history of Saul commences.

    Lavengro George Borrow
  • Mr. Glentworthy shrugs his shoulders, and commences whistling a tune.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
British Dictionary definitions for commences


to start or begin; come or cause to come into being, operation, etc
Derived Forms
commencer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French comencer, from Vulgar Latin cominitiāre (unattested), from Latin com- (intensive) + initiāre to begin, from initium a beginning
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for commences



c.1300, from Old French comencier "to begin, start" (10c., Modern French commencer), from Vulgar Latin *cominitiare, originally "to initiate as priest, consecrate," from Latin com- "together" (see com-) + initiare "to initiate," from initium (see initial (adj.)). Spelling with double -m- began in French and was established in English by 1500. Related: Commenced; commencing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for commences

Word Value for commences

Scrabble Words With Friends