[ bih-gin ]
/ b瑟藞g瑟n /
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verb (used without object), be路gan [bih-gan], /b瑟藞g忙n/, be路gun [bih-guhn], /b瑟藞g蕦n/, be路gin路ning [bih-gin-ing]. /b瑟藞g瑟n 瑟艐/.
to proceed to perform the first or earliest part of some action; commence; start: The story begins with their marriage.
to come into existence; arise; originate: The custom began during the Civil War.
verb (used with object), be路gan, be路gun, be路gin路ning.
to proceed to perform the first or earliest part of (some action): Begin the job tomorrow.
to originate; be the originator of: civic leaders who began the reform movement.
to succeed to the slightest extent in (followed by an infinitive): The money won't even begin to cover expenses.
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Fill in the blank: I can鈥檛 figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of begin

First recorded before 1000; Middle English beginnen, Old English beginnan, equivalent to be- be- + -ginnan 鈥渢o begin,鈥 perhaps originally 鈥渢o open,鈥 akin to yawn

synonym study for begin

3. Begin, commence, initiate, start (when followed by noun or gerund) refer to setting into motion or progress something that continues for some time. Begin is the common term: to begin knitting a sweater. Commence is a more formal word, often suggesting a more prolonged or elaborate beginning: to commence proceedings in court. Initiate implies an active and often ingenious first act in a new field: to initiate a new procedure. Start means to make a first move or to set out on a course of action: to start paving a street.

Other definitions for begin (2 of 2)

[ bey-gin ]
/ 藞be瑟 g瑟n /

Me路na路chem [muh-nah-khuhm], /m蓹藞n蓱 x蓹m/, 1913鈥92, Israeli political leader, born in Poland: prime minister 1977鈥83; Nobel Peace Prize 1978.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use begin in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for begin (1 of 2)

/ (b瑟藞伞瑟n) /

verb -gins, -ginning, -gan or -gun
to start or cause to start (something or to do something)
to bring or come into being for the first time; arise or originate
to start to say or speak
(used with a negative) to have the least capacity (to do something)he couldn't begin to compete with her
to begin with in the first place

Word Origin for begin

Old English beginnan; related to Old High German biginnan, Gothic duginnan

British Dictionary definitions for begin (2 of 2)

/ (藞b蓻伞瑟n) /

Menachem (m蓹藞n蓱藧k瑟m). 1913鈥92, Israeli statesman, born in Poland. In Palestine after 1942, he became a leader of the militant Zionists; prime minister of Israel (1977鈥83); Nobel peace prize jointly with Sadat 1978. In 1979 he concluded the Camp David treaty with Anwar Sadat of Egypt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with begin


The American Heritage庐 Idioms Dictionary Copyright 漏 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.