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From Middle English begeten, biȝeten, from Old English beġietan (to get, find, acquire, attain, receive, take, seize, happen, beget), [influenced by Old Norse geta ("to get, to guess")] from Proto-Germanic *bigetaną (to find, seize), equivalent to be- +‎ get. Cognate with Old Saxon bigetan (to find, seize), Old High German bigezan (to gain, achieve, win, procure).


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /biˈɡɛt/, /bɪˈɡɛt/, /bəˈɡɛt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛt


beget (third-person singular simple present begets, present participle begetting, simple past begot or begat, past participle begotten) (transitive)

  1. To father; to sire; to produce (a child).
  2. To cause; to produce.
    • 2019 May 12, Alex McLevy, “Westeros faces a disastrous final battle on the penultimate Game of Thrones (newbies)”, in The A.V. Club[1]:
      Violence begets violence, and the only people still remaining will do the very thing that the living were fighting to preserve during the battle against the Night King: They’ll remember, and keep the memory of this bloodbath alive.
  3. To bring forth.
    • 1614, Ben Jonson, Bartholmew Fayre, Induction:
      If there bee neuer a Seruant-monſter i' the Fayre, who can helpe it, he ſayes ; nor a neſt of Antiques ?   Hee is loth to make Nature afraid in his Playes, like thoſe that beget Tales, Tempeſts, and ſuch like Drolleries, []
    • 2012 February 1, Kathy Gilbert, “Pitching In”, in Chatter Chattanooga[2], retrieved 2012-09-29:
      Rugby football was created in the early 1800s at England’s all-boys Rugby School. The sport begat American football, Gaelic football, Australian rules football and Association football (aka soccer).
  4. (Britain dialectal) To happen to; befall.

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit