begin[bē gin′, bi-]
- The definition of begin means to start or come into being.
- An example of begin is when you start working at 8:00 A.M.
- An example of begin is the invasion that started World War II in 1939.
- An example of begin is when legislation is passed that starts to deal with a problem.
For many people, the work day begins at 8:00 A.M.
intransitive verbbegan, begun, beginning
- to start doing, acting, going, etc.; get under way
- to come into being; arise
- to have a first part or element: the Bible begins with Genesis
- to be or do in the slightest degree: used with an infinitive: they don't begin to compare
Origin of beginMiddle English biginnen ; from Old English beginnan; akin to German beginnen, Gothic duginnan
- to cause to start; set about; commence
- to cause to come into being; originate
- to be the first part or element of
to begin with
verbbe·gan , be·gun , be·gin·ning, be·gins
- To perform or undergo the first part of an action; start: I began to e-mail you but got interrupted. The rain began around noon.
- To come into being: when life began.
- To do or accomplish something in the least degree. Used in the negative with an infinitive: Those measures do not even begin to address the problem.
- To say as the first in a series of remarks: “I didn't like the movie,” he began.
- a. To have as a first element or part: The play begins with a monologue.b. To have as the lowest price in a range: Those shirts begin at $20.c. To have as a first position, stage, or job: The restaurant began as a ice-cream parlor. The principal began as a math teacher.
- To take the first step in doing; start: began work.
- To cause to come into being; originate: an invention that began a new era.
- To come first in (a series, for instance): The numeral 1 begins the sequence.
Origin of beginMiddle English biginnen, from Old English beginnan.
(third-person singular simple present begins, present participle beginning, simple past began, past participle begun)
- (intransitive) To start, to initiate or take the first step into something.
- I began playing the piano at the age of five. Now that everyone is here, we should begin the presentation. The program begins at 9 o'clock on the dot. I rushed to get to class on time, but the lesson had already begun.
- (intransitive) To commence existence.
- beginning noun
From Middle English beginnen, from Old English beginnan (“to begin”), from Proto-Germanic *biginnaną (“to begin”) (compare West Frisian begjinne, Low German begünnen, Dutch and German beginnen), from a root *ginnaną also found in Old English onginnan, Old Saxon andginnan and Dutch ontginnen, possibly from Proto-Indo-European *ghendhe/o (“to take”) (compare Welsh genni (“to delve, submerge onself”), Latin prehendō, Albanian zë (“to catch”), Ancient Greek [script?] (chandánein, “to hold, contain”)).