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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.
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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

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for beget

engender, sire, procreate, get, afford, breed, father, effect, reproduce, bring, produce, propagate, multiply, occasion, cause, generate

Examples from the Web for beget

Contemporary Examples of beget

Historical Examples of beget

  • Or beget pleasure in another that is troublesome to himself?

    The Praise of Folly

    Desiderius Erasmus

  • For invention and improvement are prolific, and beget more of their kind.

    The Age of Invention

    Holland Thompson

  • But when both parties have ceased to beget children there shall be no penalties.



  • He will tell you that he has always known that some day he must wed and do his best to beget a son.


    Raphael Sabatini

  • For the praises of God will beget no disgust, neither will they ever cease.

British Dictionary definitions for beget


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper