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I beg your pardon - definition and synonyms

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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

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  1. 1
    spoken formal used for asking someone to repeat something because you did not hear them. ‘Pardon?’ or ‘Sorry?’ are less formal ways of saying this

    ‘Are you ready to leave?’ ‘I beg your pardon?’ ‘I was just asking if you’re ready to leave.’

  2. 2
    spoken formal used for saying you are sorry because you have made a slight mistake, for example because you have stood on someone’s foot. ‘Sorry’ is a less formal way of saying this

    Oh, I beg your pardon, I didn’t realize this was your chair.

  3. 3
    spoken used for showing that you disagree very strongly with what someone has just said

    Jenny doesn’t concentrate when she’s driving.’ ‘I beg your pardon! She’s a very good driver!’

See also main entry: beg


a rainbow produced when water droplets in the air reflect light from the moon rather than the sun

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a way of doing business that involves recruiting large numbers of people who work for themselves using the company's platform, as used by companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and the like

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