See more synonyms for begat on


plural noun Informal.
  1. genealogical lists, especially those in the Old Testament.

Origin of begats

noun plural use of begat


verb (used with object), be·got or (Archaic) be·gat; be·got·ten or be·got; be·get·ting.
  1. (especially of a male parent) to procreate or generate (offspring).
  2. to cause; produce as an effect: a belief that power begets power.

Origin of beget

before 1000; Middle English begeten (see be-, get); replacing Middle English biyeten, Old English begetan; cognate with Gothic bigitan, Old High German bigezzan
Related formsbe·get·ter, noun

Synonyms for beget

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for begat

Contemporary Examples of begat

Historical Examples of begat

  • Here he begat a family consisting of five pairs of twin male children.



  • Why betray them when they were doomed to be stifled in the breast that begat them?

    The Suitors of Yvonne

    Raphael Sabatini

  • But I am utterly wretched, for I begat the best of sons in Troy, and none of them is left.

  • This, I trow, was done by those evil spirits that begat them, for the injury of the Goths.


    Frank Fox

  • Sailors married queens and begat princesses and all the rest of it.

British Dictionary definitions for begat


  1. archaic a past tense of beget


verb -gets, -getting, -got, -gat, -gotten or -got (tr)
  1. to father
  2. to cause or create
Derived Formsbegetter, noun

Word Origin for beget

Old English begietan; related to Old Saxon bigetan, Old High German pigezzan, Gothic bigitan to find; see be-, get
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

Word Origin and History for begat

archaic past tense of beget.



Old English begietan "to get by effort, find, acquire, attain, seize" (class V strong verb, past tense begeat, past participle begeaton), from be- + get (v.). Sense of "to procreate" is from c.1200. Related to Old High German pigezzan, Gothic bigitan "to get, obtain." Related: Begot; begotten.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper