American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To come into existence; take rise or origin; first have existence; begin to be.
- To enter a new state or assume a new character; begin to be (something different); turn to be or become.
- To take a degree, or the first degree, in a university or college. See commencement.
- To cause to begin to be; perform the first act of; enter upon; begin: as, to commence operations; to commence a suit, action, or process in law.
- Synonyms Commence, Begin. In all ordinary uses commence is exactly synonymous with begin, which, as a purely English word, is nearly always preferable, but more especially before another verb in the infinitive.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To have a beginning or origin; to originate; to start; to begin.
- v. Archaic To begin to be, or to act as.
- v. engraving To take a degree at a university.
- v. To enter upon; to begin; to perform the first act of.
- v. get off the ground
- v. set in motion, cause to start
- v. take the first step or steps in carrying out an action
- From Old French commencer, from Vulgar Latin cominitiare, formed on Latin com- + initiō (Wiktionary)
- Middle English commencen, from Old French comencier, from Vulgar Latin *cominitiāre : Latin com-, intensive pref.; see com- + Late Latin initiāre, to begin (from Latin initium, beginning; see ei- in Indo-European roots). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Nevertheless, his book carries in it a certain large suggestion; it contains many excellent observations; its tone is unexceptionable; the style is firm and clear, though heavy and disfigured by such intolerable barbarisms as "commence to" walk, talk, or the like, -- the use of the infinitive instead of the participle after _commence_.”
“Donaghy, who pleaded guilty in New York to conspiracy to engage in wire fraud and transmitting betting information through interstate commence, is serving a 15-month sentence.”
“Legal interpretation of the Geneva Conventions did commence from the higher levels of the administration.”
“When does the presidential term commence and expire?”
“Kennedy went out on one of these vessels, in which he had not long been at sea before he joined in a conspiracy some of the rest had formed of seizing the vessel, putting those to death who refused to come into their measures, and then to go, as the sailors phrase it, "upon the account", that is in plain English, commence pirates.”
“At all events, since I have accepted his kind invitation, all I have to say before I commence, is that this is a very, very dry subject.”
“Jane Grey, public documents in her name commence only with the latter date.”
“These two years commence from the end of the three months which he spent in the synagogue (v. 8); after they were ended, he continued for some time in the country about, preaching; therefore he might justly reckon it in all three years, as he does, ch. xx.”
“As soon as Mr Norton found I had this legacy, and six months before I received one farthing from it, he wrote that he could no longer pay me the sum secured (as I imagined) by the deed of agreement we both had signed; and he begged to inquire what deduction I myself would propose in my allowance, – "such deduction to commence from the time that I should receive any money under my mother's will.”
“The vital motions, as suppose of the heart and arterial system, commence from the irritation occasioned by the stimulus of the blood, and then have this irritation assisted by the power of association; at the same time an agreeable sensation is produced by the due actions of the fibres, as in the secretions of the glands, which constitutes the pleasure of existence; this agreeable sensation is intermixed between every link of this diurnal chain of actions, and contributes to produce it by what is termed animal causation.”
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