From Middle English beginnen, from Old English beginnan (“to begin”), from Proto-Germanic *biginnaną (“to begin”), from a base verb *ginnaną also found in Old English onginnan, possibly from Proto-Indo-European *gʰed- (“to take”).
- (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.
- (Can we date this quote?) John Locke
- The apostle begins our knowledge in the creatures, which leads us to the knowledge of God.
- (Can we date this quote?) Alexander Pope
- Ye nymphs of Solyma! begin the song.
- 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
- 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. Lincoln, chapter 5, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
- 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.
- (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.
- (intransitive) To come into existence.
begin (plural begins)
- begin in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
- begin in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
See the etymology of the main entry.
This noun needs an inflection-table template.
- “beghin (I)”, in Vroegmiddelnederlands Woordenboek, 2000
- “begin”, in Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek, 1929
begin (plural begins)