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begin Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun Israeli statesman (born in Russia) who (as prime minister of Israel) negotiated a peace treaty with Anwar Sadat (then the president of Egypt) (1913-1992)
    Menachem Begin.
  2. verb take the first step or steps in carrying out an action
    get; start out; set about; start; set out; get down; commence.
    • We began working at dawn
    • Who will start?
    • Get working as soon as the sun rises!
    • The first tourists began to arrive in Cambodia
    • He began early in the day
    • Let's get down to work now
  3. verb have a beginning, in a temporal, spatial, or evaluative sense
    • The DMZ begins right over the hill
    • The second movement begins after the Allegro
    • Prices for these homes start at $250,000
  4. verb set in motion, cause to start
    lead off; start; commence.
    • The U.S. started a war in the Middle East
    • The Iraqis began hostilities
    • begin a new chapter in your life
  5. verb begin to speak or say
    • Now listen, friends," he began
  6. verb be the first item or point, constitute the beginning or start, come first in a series
    • The number `one' begins the sequence
    • A terrible murder begins the novel
    • The convocation ceremony officially begins the semester
  7. verb have a beginning, of a temporal event
    • WW II began in 1939 when Hitler marched into Poland
    • The company's Asia tour begins next month
  8. verb have a beginning characterized in some specified way
    • The novel begins with a murder
    • My property begins with the three maple trees
    • Her day begins with a workout
    • The semester begins with a convocation ceremony
  9. verb begin an event that is implied and limited by the nature or inherent function of the direct object
    • begin a cigar
    • She started the soup while it was still hot
    • We started physics in 10th grade
  10. verb achieve or accomplish in the least degree, usually used in the negative
    • This economic measure doesn't even begin to deal with the problem of inflation
    • You cannot even begin to understand the problem we had to deal with during the war
  11. verb begin to speak, understand, read, and write a language
    • She began Russian at an early age
    • We started French in fourth grade

Be*gin" intransitive verb
AS. beginnan (akin to OS. biginnan, D. & G. beginnen, OHG. biginnan, Goth., du-ginnan, Sw. begynna, Dan. begynde); pref. be- + an assumed ginnan. See Gin to begin.
imperfect & past participle Began Begun present participle & verbal noun Beginning
  1. To have or commence an independent or first existence; to take rise; to commence.
    Vast chain of being! which from God began. Pope.
  2. To do the first act or the first part of an action; to enter upon or commence something new, as a new form or state of being, or course of action; to take the first step; to start. "Tears began to flow." Dryden.
    When I begin, I will also make an end. 1 Sam. iii. 12.
Be*gin" transitive verb
  1. To enter on; to commence.
    Ye nymphs of Solyma ! begin the song. Pope.
  2. To trace or lay the foundation of; to make or place a beginning of.
    The apostle begins our knowledge in the creatures, which leads us to the knowledge of God. Locke.
    Syn. -- To commence; originate; set about; start.
Be*gin" noun
  1. Beginning. Poetic & Obs. Spenser.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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