Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of begin
Meaning of begin by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Middle English beginnen, from Old English beginnan ( “to begin” ), from Proto-Germanic *biginnanan ( “to begin” ) ( compare West Frisian begjinne, Dutch/German beginnen ), from Proto-Indo-European *ghendhe/o 'to take' ( compare Welsh genni 'to delve, submerge onself', Latin prehendere 'to grasp, nab', praeda 'prey', Albanian zë 'to catch', Ancient Greek chandánein 'to hold, contain' )


    • IPA: /bɪˈɡɪn/, /bəˈgɪn/


    begin ( third-person singular simple present begins present participle beginning, simple past began, past participle begun )

    1. ( ambitransitive ) 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 .

    Related terms


    begin ( plural: begins )

    1. ( nonstandard ) beginning; start

    See also

    • begin in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
    • begin in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913



Explanation of begin by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. take the first step or steps in carrying out an action

    2. set in motion, cause to start

    3. begin a new chapter in your life
    4. begin to speak or say

    5. begin to speak, understand, read, and write a language

    6. achieve or accomplish in the least degree, usually used in the negative

    7. 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
    8. begin an event that is implied and limited by the nature or inherent function of the direct object

    9. begin a cigar
    10. have a beginning, in a temporal, spatial, or evaluative sense

    11. The DMZ begins right over the hill
      The second movement begins after the Allegro
    12. have a beginning characterized in some specified way

    13. 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
    14. have a beginning, of a temporal event

    15. The company's Asia tour begins next month
    16. be the first item or point, constitute the beginning or start, come first in a series

    17. The number `one' begins the sequence
      A terrible murder begins the novel
      The convocation ceremony officially begins the semester
    1. 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 )

    Definition of begin by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Begin v. i. [imp. & p. p. Began Begun ( ); p. pr. & vb. n. Beginning] [AS. beginnan ( akin to OS. biginnan, D. & G. beginnen, OHG. biginnan, Goth., du-ginnan, Sw. begynna, Dan. begynde ); pref. be- + an assumed ginnan. √31. See Gin to begin.]
      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.

    2. Begin, v. t.
      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.

    3. Begin, n. Beginning. [Poetic & Obs.] Spenser.