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[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.
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Examples from the Web for recommence
Historical Examples
  • Dolly was obliged to kneel down, and recommence at the beginning.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • It appeared already much too late to attempt to recommence her education.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • Besides, was it not too late, at his age, to recommence a career?

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • If you should ever recommence business, however, it ought not to be from this fear.

  • This done, I was allowed to recommence my archaeological investigations.

    Carmen Prosper Merimee
  • After the lapse of a few seconds, all recommence simultaneously.

    The Log of the Sun William Beebe
  • We did not, on account of the heat, recommence our journey till the afternoon.

    Old Jack W.H.G. Kingston
  • We accordingly determined the next morning to recommence our journey.

    Adventures in Africa W.H.G. Kingston
  • The firing ceased; still I listened, expecting it to recommence.

    Hurricane Hurry W.H.G. Kingston
  • I now felt sufficiently strong to recommence my attempt at escape.

    Dick Cheveley W. H. G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for recommence


to begin or commence again
Derived Forms
recommencement, noun


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
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Word Origin and History for recommence

late 15c., from Old French recommencier "begin again, start afresh" (11c.), from re- "back, again" (see re-) + commencer (see commence). Related: Recommenced; recommencing.



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
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