from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. To take the first step in performing an action; start.
- intransitive v. To come into being: when life began.
- intransitive v. To do or accomplish in the least degree: Those measures do not even begin to address the problem.
- transitive v. To take the first step in doing; start: began work.
- transitive v. To cause to come into being; originate.
- transitive v. To come first in: The numeral 1 begins the sequence.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To start, to initiate or take the first step into something.
- n. Beginning; start.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To have or commence an independent or first existence; to take rise; to commence.
- intransitive v. To do the first act or the first part of an action; to enter upon or commence something new, as a new form or state of being, or course of action; to take the first step; to start.
- transitive v. To enter on; to commence.
- transitive v. To trace or lay the foundation of; to make or place a beginning of.
- n. Beginning.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To take the first step in; set about the performance or accomplishment of; enter upon; commence.
- To originate; be the originator of: as, to begin a dynasty.
- To trace from anything as the first ground; date the beginning of.
- Synonyms To set about, institute, undertake, originate, initiate.
- To come into existence; arise; originate: as, the present German empire began with William I.
- To take a first step; commence in any course or operation; make a start or commencement.
- At the outset; as the first thing to be considered; first of all: as, to begin with, I do not like its color.
- n. A beginning.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. be the first item or point, constitute the beginning or start, come first in a series
- v. begin an event that is implied and limited by the nature or inherent function of the direct object
- v. begin to speak or say
- v. have a beginning, of a temporal event
- v. have a beginning, in a temporal, spatial, or evaluative sense
- v. begin to speak, understand, read, and write a language
- n. Israeli statesman (born in Russia) who (as prime minister of Israel) negotiated a peace treaty with Anwar Sadat (then the president of Egypt) (1913-1992)
- v. set in motion, cause to start
- v. have a beginning characterized in some specified way
- v. achieve or accomplish in the least degree, usually used in the negative
- v. take the first step or steps in carrying out an action
Middle English biginnen, from Old English beginnan.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English beginnen, from Old English beginnan ("to begin"), from Proto-Germanic *biginnanan (“to begin”) (compare West Frisian begjinne, Dutch/German beginnen), from Proto-Indo-European *ghendhe/o 'to take' (compare Welsh genni ("to delve, submerge onself"), Latin prehendere 'to grasp, nab', praeda 'prey', Albanian zë ("to catch"), Ancient Greek chandánein ("to hold, contain")). (Wiktionary)