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

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
Derived Formsrecommencement, noun


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



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper