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begin

[ bih-gin ]
/ bɪˈgɪn /
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verb (used without object), be·gan [bih-gan], /bɪˈgæn/, be·gun [bih-guhn], /bɪˈgʌn/, be·gin·ning [bih-gin-ing]. /bɪˈgɪn ɪŋ/.
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·gan, be·gun, be·gin·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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Origin of begin

First recorded before 1000; Middle English beginnen, Old English beginnan, equivalent to be- be- + -ginnan “to begin,” perhaps originally “to open,” 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)

Begin
[ bey-gin ]
/ ˈbeɪ gɪn /

noun
Me·na·chem [muh-nah-khuhm], /məˈnɑ xəm/, 1913–92, Israeli political leader, born in Poland: prime minister 1977–83; Nobel Peace Prize 1978.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use begin in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for begin (1 of 2)

begin
/ (bɪˈɡɪn) /

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)

Begin
/ (ˈbɛɡɪn) /

noun
Menachem (məˈnɑːkɪm). 1913–92, Israeli statesman, born in Poland. In Palestine after 1942, he became a leader of the militant Zionists; prime minister of Israel (1977–83); 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 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with begin

begin

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