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an act or circumstance of entering upon an action or state:
the beginning of hostilities.
the point of time or space at which anything begins:
the beginning of the Christian era; the beginning of the route.
the first part:
the beginning of the book; the beginning of the month.
Often, beginnings. the initial stage or part of anything:
the beginnings of science.
origin; source; first cause:
A misunderstanding about the rent was the beginning of their quarrel.
just formed:
a beginning company.
first; opening:
the beginning chapters of a book.
basic or introductory:
beginning Spanish.
learning the fundamentals:
a beginning swimmer.
to proceed to perform the first or earliest part of some action; commence; start:
The story begins with their marriage.
to come into existence; arise; originate:
The custom began during the Civil War.
to proceed to perform the first or earliest part of (some action):
Begin the job tomorrow.
to originate; be the originator of:
civic leaders who began the reform movement.
to succeed to the slightest extent in (followed by an infinitive):
The money won’t even begin to cover expenses.
Contemporary Examples

But this was 2003, the beginning of Generation Me, and just a year before Facebook launched.
Paris Hilton: End of an Era? Tricia Romano August 25, 2011

In fact, beginning in 2003 Utah government agencies have worked closely with polygamist and nonprofit groups.
Sister Wives Season 2: Polygamy’s Strange Charm Joyce C. Tang March 9, 2011

This has been a theme in nutrition policy since the beginning.
Everything You Know About Fat Is Wrong Daniela Drake May 6, 2014

In late night, the beginning of a program matters most; the last segment can be tossed to a band or a comic.
Leno’s Regrets Kim Masters May 30, 2009

Bringing Q home was the beginning of my new adventure as a mom.
No Sex For Six Weeks After Giving Birth? It’s Too Long! Aurora Snow December 26, 2013

Historical Examples

This was in reality the beginning of Mrs. Dean’s carefully laid plan.
Marjorie Dean Pauline Lester

In the beginning, a star, when drawn with a nail into a brick looked as follows.
Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon

Joan told me about it at the beginning when I chaffed her about his loving her; and he does, you know he does.
To Love Margaret Peterson

beginning of the struggle between Indo-Europeans and Semites.
Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon

How he kept his oath, and what it cost him in the beginning, nobody knows.
The Works of Rudyard Kipling: One Volume Edition Rudyard Kipling

a start; commencement
(often pl) a first or early part or stage
the place where or time when something starts
an origin; source
verb -gins, -ginning, -gan, -gun
to start or cause to start (something or to do something)
to bring or come into being for the first time; arise or originate
to start to say or speak
(used with a negative) to have the least capacity (to do something): he couldn’t begin to compete with her
to begin with, in the first place
Menachem (məˈnɑːkɪm). 1913–92, Israeli statesman, born in Poland. In Palestine after 1942, he became a leader of the militant Zionists; prime minister of Israel (1977–83); Nobel peace prize jointly with Sadat 1978. In 1979 he concluded the Camp David treaty with Anwar Sadat of Egypt

late 12c., “time when something begins,” from begin. Meaning “act of starting something” is from early 13c. The Old English word was fruma.

Old English beginnan “to begin, attempt, undertake,” a rare word beside the more usual form onginnan (class III strong verb; past tense ongann, past participle ongunnen); from bi- (see be-) + West Germanbic *ginnan, of obscure meaning and found only in compounds, perhaps “to open, open up” (cf. Old High German in-ginnan “to cut open, open up,” also “begin, undertake”), with sense evolution from “open” to “begin.” Cognates elsewhere in Germanic include Old Frisian biginna “to begin,” Middle Dutch beghinnen, Old High German beginnan, German beginnen, Old Frisian bijenna “to begin,” Gothic duginnan.

begin to see daylight
begin to see the light
begin with


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    the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words; alliteration, as in The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew.

  • Begird

    to gird about; encompass; surround. Historical Examples I honestly believe that his performance would beat down the frigid steel ramparts that begird the English “lady.” Nights in London Thomas Burke E’er shall avail her neck to begird with yesterday’s ribband. The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus Caius Valerius Catullus verb (transitive) (poetic) -girds, -girding, -girt, […]

  • Begone

    to go away; depart (usually used in the imperative). Historical Examples The council, in answer, reiterated their orders for him to begone. Life and Correspondence of David Hume, Volume II (of 2) John Hill Burton I lingered—why, I can hardly tell—until once more she bade me begone. Curious, if True Elizabeth Gaskell begone, and thank […]

  • Begonia

    any tropical plant belonging to the genus Begonia, including species cultivated for the handsome, succulent leaves and waxy flowers. Historical Examples A good one for a shady window is the one called the ‘beefsteak’ begonia. The Library of Work and Play: Gardening and Farming. Ellen Eddy Shaw I lost a number of begonia slips by […]

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