begins; began/-ˈgæn//bɪˈgæn/; begun/-ˈgʌn//bɪˈgʌn/; beginning begins; began/-ˈgæn//bɪˈgæn/; begun/-ˈgʌn//bɪˈgʌn/; beginning
Learner's definition of BEGIN
1 a : to do the first part of an action : to start doing something
They will begin construction on the new school soon.
I got the job and I begin work on Monday!
She'll begin the lecture at 10.
He plans to begin the project later this week.
They both began their careers at the local newspaper.
The university began accepting applications in November.
I had just begun eating when the phone rang.
She interrupted as soon as I began to speak.
b [+ object] : to start to work on, produce, or give attention to (something)
He began by showing some photographs of his trip. = He began with some photographs of his trip.
Now that I've begun, I'll go on till I finish.
You'll have to begin again. [=start over]
c [+ object] : to cause (something) to start d [+ object] : to start to have a feeling, thought, etc. — usually followed by to + verb — sometimes + -ing verb
I began the quilt last month.
I began (reading) the book last week.
Schubert began more symphonies than he finished.
2 : to start to happen, to exist, to be done, etc.
The meeting began [=started] in the morning and finished/ended at noon.
Construction on the new school will begin soon.
Our problems were just beginning.
When does the play begin?
The rain began around noon.
Let the games begin.
The American Civil War began in 1861 and ended in 1865.
His passion for music began at the age of six when he had his first piano lessons.
[+ object] — followed by to + verb
3 a : to have a particular starting point : to start at a specified place or in a specified way
b : to have a specified quality, identity, job, etc., at the start — + as
“Where does the river begin?” “It begins in the mountains to the north.”
The meeting began on a positive note.
The meeting began with an announcement. [=an announcement was made at the start of the meeting]
The English alphabet begins with A and ends with Z.
Each sentence should begin with a capital.
The season began with our team in last place but finished (up) with us in first place.
Her long career in advertising began at a small firm in Chicago.
Prices for the hotel rooms begin at 85 dollars. [=85 dollars is the lowest price for a hotel room; some rooms cost more than 85 dollars]
The road begins at the bottom of the hill and ends at the top of the hill.
What began [=started] as a simple idea has become a complicated project.
The town began as a small farming community.
He began as a clerk [=he was a clerk when he started working] and eventually became president of the company.
4 [+ object] : to start speaking by saying (something) 5 — used in an exaggerated way to say that something is not possible
I can't even begin to describe how good the food was. [=the food was very good]
I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am for all your help. [=I am very grateful for all your help]
I can hardly begin to thank you for all you've done.
to begin with
1 : as the first thing to be thought about or considered 2 : at the start : before the current time or situation
She has lost a lot of weight, and she wasn't very heavy to begin with.
She didn't like her job to begin with, [=at first, initially] but she got used to it eventually.