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begin - definition and synonyms


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verb begin pronunciation in American English /bɪˈɡɪn/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlebeginning
past tensebegan
past participlebegun
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  1. 1
    [transitive] to start doing something
    begin doing something:

    He began shouting at them.

    begin to do something:

    Suddenly the rain began to fall.

    be just beginning to do something (=to be at the earliest stage of doing something):

    The buds were just beginning to open.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to start feeling or thinking something
      begin to do something:

      Now we were beginning to feel excited.

      I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever find you!

    2. b.
      [intransitive/transitive] to make an activity or process start or exist

      Their truck began the steep descent to the village.

      The police have already begun their investigation.

      begin (something) as something:

      He began his working life as a waiter.

      begin (something) by doing something:

      I’d like to begin by thanking you all for coming.

      begin (something) with something:

      We began the meeting with a discussion about the budget.

    3. c.
      [transitive] to give your attention to something for the first time

      I began the book with high hopes.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] to start happening or existing

    My troubles began the night I met Roger.

    The ceremony is due to begin at noon.

    She felt her life was just beginning.

    begin as:

    It began as a practical joke.

    1. a.
      if a sentence, book, etc. begins with a particular letter, word, etc., that is the first one in it
      begin with:

      We usually use “an” before a word beginning with a vowel.

    2. b.
      if a place begins somewhere, that is the first point where you consider it to be
    3. c.
      if an activity or process begins with something, that is the first thing that happens in it
      begin with:

      All meals begin with a short prayer.

      The competition began with one of the teams being disqualified.

    4. d.
      to start speaking

      “It isn’t like that”, he began, but Ben interrupted him.



a title used before a man or woman's name as a gender-neutral alternative to Mr, Ms, etc

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another way of saying congratulations, or that something/someone looks nice or fascinating

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