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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

How I Write: Richard Posner Noah Charney November 6, 2013
Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman November 14, 2014
An Old-Fashioned Wine Harvest Sophie Menin October 17, 2010
How Iran Could Become Our Shadow Enemy in the Syria ISIS War Jacob Siegel September 15, 2014
Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days David Freeman December 12, 2014

Historical Examples

The Foundations of Japan J.W. Robertson Scott
Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5 Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
French Mediaeval Romances from the Lays of Marie de France Marie de France
The Trail Book Mary Austin
Letters of Travel (1892-1913) Rudyard Kipling

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

begin to see daylight
begin to see the light
begin with


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    smudged and sticky; soiled, usually with sticky residue.

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    (used as a euphemism for by God): It’s a fine day, begorra. interjection an emphatic exclamation, regarded as a characteristic utterance of Irish people

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    (used as a euphemism for by God): It’s a fine day, begorra. Historical Examples In the Pecos Country Edward Sylvester Ellis (AKA Lieutenant R.H. Jayne) Adrift in the Wilds Edward S. Ellis Young Tom Bowling J.C. Hutcheson The Ocean Wireless Boys on the Pacific Wilbur Lawton Under Wellington’s Command G. A. Henty Witty Pieces by […]

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