to ask for as a gift, as charity, or as a favor:
to beg alms; to beg forgiveness.
to ask (someone) to give or do something; implore:
He begged me for mercy. Sit down, I beg you.
to take for granted without basis or justification:
a statement that begs the very point we’re disputing.
to fail or refuse to come to grips with; avoid; evade:
a report that consistently begs the whole problem.
to ask alms or charity; live by asking alms.
to ask humbly or earnestly:
begging for help; begging to differ.
(of a dog) to sit up, as trained, in a posture of entreaty.
beg off, to request or obtain release from an obligation, promise, etc.:
He had promised to drive us to the recital but begged off at the last minute.
beg the question, to assume the truth of the very point raised in a question.
go begging, to remain open or available, as a position that is unfilled or an unsold item:
The job went begging for lack of qualified applicants.
(intransitive, adverb) to ask to be released from an engagement, obligation, etc
verb begs, begging, begged
when intr, often foll by for. to solicit (for money, food, etc), esp in the street
to ask (someone) for (something or leave to do something) formally, humbly, or earnestly: I beg forgiveness, I beg to differ
(intransitive) (of a dog) to sit up with forepaws raised expectantly
to leave unanswered or unresolved: to beg a point
beg the question
to evade the issue
to assume the thing under examination as proved
to suggest that a question needs to be asked: the firm’s success begs the question: why aren’t more companies doing the same?
go begging, go a-begging, to be unwanted or unused
a variant of bey
c.1200, perhaps from Old English bedecian “to beg,” from Proto-Germanic *beth-; or possibly from Anglo-French begger, from Old French begart (see beggar). The Old English word for “beg” was wædlian, from wædl “poverty.” Of trained dogs, 1816.
As a courteous mode of asking (beg pardon, etc.), first attested c.1600. To beg the question translates Latin petitio principii, and means “to assume something that hasn’t been proven as a basis of one’s argument,” thus “asking” one’s opponent to give something unearned, though more of the nature of taking it for granted without warrant.
big evil grin
That the poor existed among the Hebrews we have abundant evidence (Ex. 23:11; Deut. 15:11), but there is no mention of beggars properly so called in the Old Testament. The poor were provided for by the law of Moses (Lev. 19:10; Deut. 12:12; 14:29). It is predicted of the seed of the wicked that they shall be beggars (Ps. 37:25; 109:10). In the New Testament we find not seldom mention made of beggars (Mark 10:46; Luke 16:20, 21; Acts 3:2), yet there is no mention of such a class as vagrant beggars, so numerous in the East. “Beggarly,” in Gal. 4:9, means worthless.
Ask to be released from an obligation; turn down an invitation. For example, He’s asked me out to dinner three times already, but I have to beg off again, or Mother couldn’t take on another committee and so she begged off. [ Early 1700s ]
beg the question
beg to differ
an expression of apology (used especially in the phrase with no beg-pardons).
- Beg the question
to ask for as a gift, as charity, or as a favor: to beg alms; to beg forgiveness. to ask (someone) to give or do something; implore: He begged me for mercy. Sit down, I beg you. to take for granted without basis or justification: a statement that begs the very point we’re disputing. to […]
- Beg to differ
Disagree with someone, as in John told me Max was sure to win, but I beg to differ—I don’t think he has a chance . This courteous formula for expressing disagreement echoes similar uses of beg in the sense of “ask,” such as I beg your pardon , so used since about 1600. Also see […]
- Beg, borrow, or steal
Obtain by any possible means, as in You couldn’t beg, borrow, or steal tickets to the Olympics. This term is often used in the negative, to describe something that cannot be obtained; Chaucer used it in The Tale of the Man of Law. [ Late 1300s ]