See also: Begin

English edit

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Etymology edit

From Middle English beginnen, from Old English beginnan (to begin), from Proto-Germanic *biginnaną (to begin), from be- + base verb *ginnaną also found in Old English onginnan.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /bɪˈɡɪn/, /bəˈɡɪn/, /biˈɡɪn/
  • (file)
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  • Rhymes: -ɪn

Verb edit

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

  1. (transitive, 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.
    • a. 1705, John Locke, “An Examination of P[ère] Malebranche’s Opinion of Seeing All Things in God”, in Posthumous Works of Mr. John Locke: [], London: [] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, [], published 1706, →OCLC, paragraph 41, page 175:
      The Apoſtle begins our Knowledge in the Creatures, which lead us to the Knowledge of God, if we will make uſe of our Reaſon: [...]
    • 1712 (date written), Alexander Pope, “Messiah. A Sacred Eclogue, in Imitation of Virgil’s Pollio.”, in The Works of Alexander Pope Esq. [], volume I, London: [] J[ohn] and P[aul] Knapton, H. Lintot, J[acob] and R[ichard] Tonson, and S. Draper, published 1751, →OCLC, page 37, lines 1–2:
      Ye Nymphs of Solyma! begin the ſong: / To heav'nly themes ſublimer ſtrains belong.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter IV, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC, page 48:
      Mr. Cooke at once began a tirade against the residents of Asquith for permitting a sandy and generally disgraceful condition of the roads. So roundly did he vituperate the inn management in particular, and with such a loud flow of words, that I trembled lest he should be heard on the veranda.
    • 1913, Joseph C[rosby] Lincoln, chapter V, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients, New York, N.Y., London: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC:
      Of all the queer collections of humans outside of a crazy asylum, it seemed to me this sanitarium was the cup winner. [] When you're well enough off so's you don't have to fret about anything but your heft or your diseases you begin to get queer, I suppose.
    • 2013 June 29, “Unspontaneous combustion”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 29:
      Since the mid-1980s, when Indonesia first began to clear its bountiful forests on an industrial scale in favour of lucrative palm-oil plantations, “haze” has become an almost annual occurrence in South-East Asia.
  2. (intransitive) To be in the first stage of some situation
    The program begins at 9 o'clock on the dot.    I rushed to get to class on time, but the lesson had already begun.
  3. (intransitive) To come into existence.

Synonyms edit

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Noun edit

begin (plural begins)

  1. (nonstandard) Beginning; start.

References edit

Anagrams edit

Dutch edit

Pronunciation edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle Dutch begin, from Old Dutch *bigin, *bigen, from Proto-Germanic *biginnaz (beginning), from Proto-Germanic *biginniną (to begin). Compare Old Dutch anagen, anagenni (beginning).

Noun edit

begin n (uncountable, diminutive beginnetje n)

  1. start, beginning
Synonyms edit
Descendants edit
  • Negerhollands: begin

Etymology 2 edit

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Verb edit


  1. inflection of beginnen:
    1. first-person singular present indicative
    2. imperative

Anagrams edit

Middle Dutch edit

Etymology edit

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Noun edit

begin n

  1. beginning, start
  2. origin, source

Inflection edit

This noun needs an inflection-table template.

Descendants edit

Further reading edit

Volapük edit

Noun edit

begin (nominative plural begins)

  1. beginning

Declension edit