[ kuh-mens ]
See synonyms for: commencecommencedcommencing on

verb (used with or without object),com·menced, com·menc·ing.
  1. to begin; start.

Origin of commence

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English commencen, from Anglo-French, Middle French comencer, from unrecorded Vulgar Latin cominitiāre, equivalent to Latin com- com- + initiāre “to begin”; see initiate

synonym study For commence

See begin.

Other words for commence

Other words from commence

  • com·mence·a·ble, adjective
  • com·menc·er, noun
  • re·com·mence, verb, re·com·menced, re·com·menc·ing.

Words Nearby commence Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use commence in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for commence


/ (kəˈmɛns) /

  1. to start or begin; come or cause to come into being, operation, etc

Origin of commence

C14: from Old French comencer, from Vulgar Latin cominitiāre (unattested), from Latin com- (intensive) + initiāre to begin, from initium a beginning

Derived forms of commence

  • commencer, noun

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