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Past tense of begin.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


the past tense of begin
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



v. be•gan, be•gun, be•gin•ning. v.i.
1. to proceed to perform the first or earliest part of an action; start.
2. to come into existence; arise; originate: The custom began during the war.
3. to have a first part: The name begins with a C.
4. to proceed to perform the first or earliest part of: Begin the job tomorrow.
5. to originate; be the originator of: those who began the reform movement.
6. to succeed to the slightest extent in (fol. by an infinitive): The money won't begin to cover expenses.
[before 1000; Middle English beginnen, Old English beginnan]
syn: begin, commence, initiate, start (when followed by noun or gerund) refer to setting into motion or progress something that continues for some time. begin is the common term: to begin knitting a sweater. commence is a more formal word, often suggesting a more prolonged or elaborate beginning: to commence proceedings in court. initiate implies an active and often ingenious first act in a new field: to initiate a new procedure. start means to make a first move or to set out on a course of action: to start paving a street.


(ˈbeɪ gɪn)

Menachem, 1913–92, Israeli political leader, born in Poland: prime minister 1977–83; Nobel peace prize 1978.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


(biˈgin) present participle beˈginning: past tense began (biˈgan) : past participle begun (biˈgan) verb
to come or bring, into being, to start. He began to talk; The meeting began early.
beˈginning noun
beˈginner noun
someone who is just learning how to do something. `Does he paint well?' `He's not bad for a beginner'.
to begin with
1. at first. I didn't like him to begin with, but now he's one of my best friends.
2. firstly. There are many reasons why I don't like her – to begin with, she doesn't tell the truth.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
At Mitylene also, a dispute, which arose concerning a right of heritage, was the beginning of great evils, and a war with the Athenians, in which Paches took their city, for Timophanes, a man of fortune, leaving two daughters, Doxander, who was circumvented in procuring them in marriage for his two sons, began a sedition, and excited the Athenians to attack them, being the host of that state.
But the race began not in the ring, but two hundred yards away from it, and in that part of the course was the first obstacle, a dammed-up stream, seven feet in breadth, which the racers could leap or wade through as they preferred.
My mind got a start by and by, and began to consider the beginning of every subject which has ever been thought of; but it never went further than the beginning; it was touch and go; it fled from topic to topic with a frantic speed.
Two began in a low voice, `Why the fact is, you see, Miss, this here ought to have been a RED rose-tree, and we put a white one in by mistake; and if the Queen was to find it out, we should all have our heads cut off, you know.
As soon as an Austrian officer showed himself near a commanding officer's quarters, the regiment began to move: the soldiers ran from the fires, thrust their pipes into their boots, their bags into the carts, got their muskets ready, and formed rank.
One day passed, however, another and another; she did not come and I began to grow calmer.
- This morning I began to order my times of work, of going out with my gun, time of sleep, and time of diversion - viz.
The girl and Doctor Reefy began their courtship on a summer afternoon.
The miser crept into the bush to find it; but directly he had got into the middle, his companion took up his fiddle and played away, and the miser began to dance and spring about, capering higher and higher in the air.
I began to anticipate the completion of my daily thousand words by taking a drink when only five hundred words were written.
And immediately I began to prefer the dangers that I knew to those I knew not.
So the years passed, Walter left school, went to Edinburgh University, and began to study law.