View synonyms for beg



[ beg ]

verb (used with object)

, begged, beg·ging.
  1. to ask for as a gift, as charity, or as a favor: to beg forgiveness.

    to beg alms;

    to beg forgiveness.

  2. to ask (someone) to give or do something; implore:

    He begged me for mercy.

    Sit down, I beg you.

    Synonyms: petition, beseech, pray, entreat

  3. to take for granted without basis or justification:

    a statement that begs the very point we're disputing.

  4. 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.
  1. to ask alms or charity; live by asking alms.
  2. to ask humbly or earnestly: begging to differ.

    begging for help;

    begging to differ.

  3. (of a dog) to sit up, as trained, in a posture of entreaty.

verb phrase

  1. 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.



[ beyg, beg ]


  1. bey.



abbreviation for

  1. begin.
  2. beginning.



/ bɛɡ /


  1. a variant of bey



/ bɛɡ /


  1. whenintr, often foll by for to solicit (for money, food, etc), esp in the street
  2. to ask (someone) for (something or leave to do something) formally, humbly, or earnestly

    I beg to differ

    I beg forgiveness

  3. intr (of a dog) to sit up with forepaws raised expectantly
  4. to leave unanswered or unresolved

    to beg a point

  5. beg the question
    1. to evade the issue
    2. to assume the thing under examination as proved
    3. to suggest that a question needs to be asked

      the firm's success begs the question: why aren't more companies doing the same?

  6. go begging or go a-begging
    to be unwanted or unused

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The use of beg the question to mean that a question needs to be asked is considered by some people to be incorrect

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Other Words From

  • half-begging adjective
  • un·begged adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of beg1

First recorded before 900; Middle English beggen, by assimilation from unattested Old English bedican, variant of bedecian “to beg”; compare Gothic bidagwa “beggar”

Origin of beg2

First recorded in 1680–90; from Ottoman Turkish; bey

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Word History and Origins

Origin of beg1

C13: probably from Old English bedecian ; related to Gothic bidagwa beggar

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. beg the question, the current entry.
    1. to assume the truth of the very point raised in a question.
    2. to evade the issue or avoid a direct answer.
    3. to raise the question; inspire one to ask.
  2. 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.

More idioms and phrases containing beg

  • go begging

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Synonym Study

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.

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Example Sentences

You must atone, apologize, and beg forgiveness for the thousands of LGBT lives you have taken.

Unlike Axler, Pacino says he has yet to lose his, though many critics would beg to differ.

My Netflix account and, more importantly, my wallet would beg to differ.

The premise was simple: sell a brand to the patient and trust that the patient will beg the doctor for the same brand.

She is not denying her behavior, and she's unwilling to beg for the public's mercy.

They competed for it only in order to get a morsel of food, so they would not have to beg it from door to door.

Monsieur le Maire,” said he, “I should like to examine the premises, and beg that you will have the kindness to accompany me.

I beg to trouble you with a few wild ideas of mine, which perhaps may some future day benefit the public.

I am very much obliged for your continued favours, and beg pardon for so often troubling you.

I hope you will fully consider this business, and must beg you will have the goodness to write to me by return of post.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.