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

Synonyms for commence

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Synonym study

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

Related Words for recommence

increase, recover, continue, gain, restore, repeat, extend, resume, revive, prolong, reopen, restate, reestablish, reaffirm, regain, restart, proceed, assume, adopt, initiate

Examples from the Web for recommence

Historical Examples of recommence

  • Dolly was obliged to kneel down, and recommence at the beginning.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • It appeared already much too late to attempt to recommence her education.

  • Besides, was it not too late, at his age, to recommence a career?

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

  • If you should ever recommence business, however, it ought not to be from this fear.

  • This done, I was allowed to recommence my archaeological investigations.


    Prosper Merimee

British Dictionary definitions for recommence


  1. to begin or commence again
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Derived Formsrecommencement, noun


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

Word Origin for commence

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 recommence


late 15c., from Old French recommencier "begin again, start afresh" (11c.), from re- "back, again" (see re-) + commencer (see commence). Related: Recommenced; recommencing.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper