[ beg ]
/ bɛg /
verb (used with object), begged, beg·ging.
to ask for as a gift, as charity, or as a favor: to beg alms; to beg forgiveness.
to ask (someone) to give or do something; implore: He begged me for mercy. Sit down, I beg you.
to take for granted without basis or justification: a statement that begs the very point we're disputing.
to fail or refuse to come to grips with; avoid; evade: a report that consistently begs the whole problem.
verb (used without object), begged, beg·ging.
to ask alms or charity; live by asking alms.
to ask humbly or earnestly: begging for help; begging to differ.
(of a dog) to sit up, as trained, in a posture of entreaty.
beg off, to request or obtain release from an obligation, promise, etc.: He had promised to drive us to the recital but begged off at the last minute.
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Idioms for beg
- to assume the truth of the very point raised in a question.
- to evade the issue or avoid a direct answer.
- to raise the question; inspire one to ask.
beg the question,
go begging, to remain open or available, as a position that is unfilled or an unsold item: The job went begging for lack of qualified applicants.
Origin of beg1
First recorded before 900; Middle English beggen, by assimilation from unattested Old English bedican, syncopated variant of bedecian “to beg”; compare Gothic bidagwa “beggar.”
synonym study for beg
1, 2, 6. Beg and request are used in certain conventional formulas, in the sense of ask. Beg, once a part of many formal expressions used in letter writing, debate, etc., is now used chiefly in such courteous formulas as I beg your pardon; The Committee begs to state, etc. Request, more impersonal and now more formal, is used in giving courteous orders (You are requested to report) and in commercial formulas like to request payment.
historical usage of beg
9. The idiom beg the question is a translation of the Latin rhetorical term petitio principii and its original meaning is “to assume the truth of the very point under discussion.” For example, to answer the question “Can we afford another employee?” by stating how convenient it would be to have another employee would be begging the question. This idiom was then taken to mean “to evade the issue or avoid the question,” a natural assumption if one is unfamiliar with the original meaning. The most recent, and now quite common, sense is “to raise the question”: His success begs the question: what will be his next project? However, the original meaning, having to do with a fallacy of reasoning or argument, is useful and in fact many people favor restricting the phrase to this meaning.
OTHER WORDS FROM beghalf-begging, adjectiveun·begged, adjective
Definition for beg (2 of 3)
[ beyg, beg ]
/ beɪg, bɛg /
Origin of beg2
1680–90; ≪ Turkic; see bey
Definition for beg (3 of 3)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
British Dictionary definitions for beg (1 of 2)
/ (bɛɡ) /
verb begs, begging or begged
(when intr , often foll by for) to solicit (for money, food, etc), esp in the street
to ask (someone) for (something or leave to do something) formally, humbly, or earnestlyI beg forgiveness; I beg to differ
(intr) (of a dog) to sit up with forepaws raised expectantly
to leave unanswered or unresolvedto beg a point
beg the question
- to evade the issue
- to assume the thing under examination as proved
- to suggest that a question needs to be askedthe firm's success begs the question: why aren't more companies doing the same?
go begging or go a-begging to be unwanted or unused
See also beg off
Word Origin for beg
C13: probably from Old English bedecian; related to Gothic bidagwa beggar
usage for beg
The use of beg the question to mean that a question needs to be asked is considered by some people to be incorrect
British Dictionary definitions for beg (2 of 2)
/ (bɛɡ) /
a variant of bey
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
Idioms and Phrases with beg
In addition to the idioms beginning with beg
- beginning of the end, the
- begin to see daylight
- begin to see the light
- begin with
- beg off
- beg the question
- beg to differ
- go begging
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.