from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To begin; start.
- intransitive v. To enter upon or have a beginning; start. See Synonyms at begin.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To begin, start.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To have a beginning or origin; to originate; to start; to begin.
- intransitive v. To begin to be, or to act as.
- intransitive v. To take a degree at a university.
- transitive v. To enter upon; to begin; to perform the first act of.
from The 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.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. get off the ground
- v. set in motion, cause to start
- v. take the first step or steps in carrying out an action
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)
From Old French commencer, from Vulgar Latin cominitiare, formed on Latin com- + initiō (Wiktionary)