• synonyms


See more synonyms for commence on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with or without object), com·menced, com·menc·ing.
  1. to begin; start.
Show More

Origin of commence

1250–1300; Middle English commencen < Anglo-French, Middle French comencer < Vulgar Latin *cominitiāre, equivalent to Latin com- com- + initiāre to begin; see initiate
Related formscom·mence·a·ble, adjectivecom·menc·er, nounre·com·mence, verb, re·com·menced, re·com·menc·ing.un·com·menced, adjectivewell-com·menced, adjective


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com

Synonym study

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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for commencing

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Add the gelatine, which by this time should be commencing to solidify.

    Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 4

    Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences

  • I was just commencing a picture which interested me very much.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • In the Coupeau household the vitriol of l'Assommoir was also commencing its ravages.


    Emile Zola

  • I trust that you will not put me to the pain of commencing now.

  • “Just now,” he answered, rising and commencing again the nervous pacing.

    The Bondwoman

    Marah Ellis Ryan

British Dictionary definitions for commencing


  1. to start or begin; come or cause to come into being, operation, etc
Show More
Derived Formscommencer, noun

Word Origin

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



c.1300, from Old French comencier "to begin, start" (10c., Modern French commencer), from Vulgar Latin *cominitiare, originally "to initiate as priest, consecrate," from Latin com- "together" (see com-) + initiare "to initiate," from initium (see initial (adj.)). Spelling with double -m- began in French and was established in English by 1500. Related: Commenced; commencing.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper