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Main Entry: be·gin
Pronunciation: bi-'gin, bE-
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): be·gan /-'gan/; be·gun /-'g&n/; be·gin·ning
Etymology: Middle English beginnen, from Old English beginnan; akin to Old High German biginnan to begin, Old English onginnan
Date: before 12th century
intransitive verb
1 : to do the first part of an action : go into the first part of a process : START
2 a : to come into existence : ARISE b : to have a starting point
3 : to do or succeed in the least degree <I can't begin to tell you how pleased I am>
transitive verb
1 : to set about the activity of : START
2 a : to bring into being : FOUND b : ORIGINATE, INVENT
- to begin with : as the first thing to be considered
synonyms BEGIN, COMMENCE, START, INITIATE, INAUGURATE, USHER IN mean to take the first step in a course, process, or operation. BEGIN, START, and COMMENCE are often interchangeable. BEGIN, opposed to end, is the most general <begin a trip> <began dancing>. START, opposed to stop, applies especially to first actions, steps, or stages <the work started slowly>. COMMENCE can be more formal or bookish than BEGIN or START <commence firing> <commenced a conversation>. INITIATE implies taking a first step in a process or series that is to continue <initiated diplomatic contacts>. INAUGURATE suggests a beginning of some formality or notion of significance <the discovery of penicillin inaugurated a new era in medicine>. USHER IN is somewhat less weighty than INAUGURATE <ushered in a period of economic decline>.

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Pronunciation Key
\&\ as a and u in  abut
\&\ as e in kitten
\&r\ as ur and er in  further
\a\ as a in ash
\A\ as a in ace
\ä\ as o in mop
\au\ as ou in out
\ch\ as ch in chin
\e\ as e in bet
\E\ as ea in easy
\g\ as g in go
\i\ as i in hit
I\ as i in ice
\j\ as j in job
\[ng]\ as ng in sing
\O\ as o in go
\o\ as aw in law
\oi\ as oy in boy
\th\ as th in thin
\th\ as th in the
\ü\ as oo in loot
\u\ as oo in foot
\y\ as y in yet
\zh\ as si in vision
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