verb (used with object), begged, beg·ging.
verb (used without object), begged, beg·ging.
- beg off,
- beg the question,
- beg to differ,
- beg, borrow, or steal,
Origin of beg1
verb begs, begging or begged
- 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?
Word Origin for beg
c.1200, perhaps from Old English bedecian "to beg," from Proto-Germanic *beth-; or possibly from Anglo-French begger, from Old French begart (see beggar). The Old English word for "beg" was wædlian, from wædl "poverty." Of trained dogs, 1816.
As a courteous mode of asking (beg pardon, etc.), first attested c.1600. To beg the question translates Latin petitio principii, and means "to assume something that hasn't been proven as a basis of one's argument," thus "asking" one's opponent to give something unearned, though more of the nature of taking it for granted without warrant.
beg the question
To assume what has still to be proved: “To say that we should help the region's democratic movement begs the question of whether it really is democratic.”
beg the question
Take for granted or assume the truth of the very thing being questioned. For example, Shopping now for a dress to wear to the ceremony is really begging the question—she hasn't been invited yet. This phrase, whose roots are in Aristotle's writings on logic, came into English in the late 1500s. In the 1990s, however, people sometimes used the phrase as a synonym of “ask the question” (as in The article begs the question: “What are we afraid of?”).
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