begin


begin
begin, commence, start, initiate, inaugurate are comparable when they mean to set something going or in progress or to take the first step in a course, process, or operation. Begin, commence, and start are also used intransitively with the activity, work, or instrument as the subject in the sense of to get going or in progress
{

he began the letter

}
{

play begins when the whistle blows

}
{

start a race

}
{

the race starts at ten

}
Begin (implying opposition to end) and commence (implying opposition to conclude)are identical in meaning; the former is often preferred because less formal than the latter
{

begin work

}
{

the lecture began with an apology

}
{

well begun is half done

}
{

things never began with Mr. Borthrop Trumbull; they always commencedGeorge Eliot

}
Traditional usage often supports the choice of commence in reference to court proceedings, religious or other ceremonies, or industrial, commercial, or military operations
{

commence a lawsuit

}
{

divine service commences promptly at eleven

}
{

will commence drilling for new wells

}
{

directs the commission to commence its work not later than thirty days from the adoption of this resolution— Current History

}
Start is often used as though it also were identical in meaning with begin and commence; the term, however, carries implications which distinguish it sharply from the other words. Start implies opposition to stop; it therefore suggests a setting out from a particular point (as on a journey, a race, or a course) often after inaction or waiting
{

the horses are ready to start (that is, to begin the race)

}
{

the children like to see the train start (that is, set out from the station at which it has stopped)

}
{

conversation started and stopped and after a pause started again

}
Start also frequently takes as its subject not the person or agency that begins a process or course but the one that causes, enables, or permits him or it to begin
{

his father started him in business

}
Initiate (see also INITIATE) suggests reference to the first step in a process and carries no implication of an end or ending; it often suggests a contrast with carry on, continue, or maintain; thus, a person initiates (more precise than begins or starts except in informal speech) a custom or practice when he is its originator; a diplomat initiates negotiations between the government he represents and another when he takes the first step leading to future discussions in which he may or may not take part, but he begins negotiations on behalf of his government when he enters into actual discussions which in the natural course of events will end only when there is agreement or hopeless disagreement
{

Taft had to make himself popular as a necessary incident to initiating a civil government— Heiser

}
Inaugurate retains, from its more frequent sense of to induct into office (see INITIATE), a hint of a ceremonial beginning. Often it is an inflated term for begin or commence
{

the Curies inaugurated a new era in science by their discovery of radium

}
{

inaugurate proceedings on behalf of the heirs

}
The word sometimes takes as its subject the act, action, or incident that serves as the first step in a course or procedure
{

the discovery of radium inaugurated a new era in science

}
{

prayers and scripture inaugurated the official day— H. G. Wells

}
Analogous words: *found, institute, establish, organize: introduce, admit, *enter: originate, derive, *spring, arise, rise
Antonyms: end
Contrasted words: *close, terminate, conclude, finish, complete: *stop, cease, quit, discontinue, desist: achieve, accomplish, effect, fulfill (see PERFORM)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • BEGIN (M.) — BEGIN MENAHEM (1913 1992) Sixième Premier ministre de l’État d’Israël, Menahem Begin est né à Brest Litovsk le 16 août 1913. La ville que les juifs appelaient Brisk, aujourd’hui biélorusse, était alors polonaise. Durant toute sa vie, Begin est… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Begin — may refer to:in people: *Benny Begin (born 1943), Israeli politician *Floyd Lawrence Begin (1902 1977), American Roman Catholic bishop *Johanne Bégin (born 1971), Canadian water polo player *Joseph Damase Bégin (1900 1977), Canadian politician… …   Wikipedia

  • Bégin — Localisation de Bégin dans la MRC Le Fjord du Saguenay Administration Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • begin — (v.) O.E. beginnan to begin, attempt, undertake, a rare word beside the more usual form onginnan (class III strong verb; past tense ongann, pp. ongunnen); from bi (see BE (Cf. be )) + W.Gmc. *ginnan, of obscure meaning and found only in compounds …   Etymology dictionary

  • begin — [bē gin′, bigin′] vi. began, begun, beginning [ME biginnen < OE beginnan; akin to Ger beginnen, Goth duginnan] 1. to start doing, acting, going, etc.; get under way 2. to come into being; arise 3. to have a first part or element [the Bible… …   English World dictionary

  • Begin — bezeichnet: Menachem Begin israelischer Politiker Begin (Band), eine japanische Rockband Bégin, einen Familiennamen Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bégin — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Louis Nazaire Bégin (1840–1925), Erzbischof von Québec René Bégin (* 1912), kanadischer Politiker (Liberal Party) Steve Bégin (* 1977), kanadischer Eishockeyspieler Diese Seite ist …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Begin — Be*gin , v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Began}, {Begun}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Beginning}.] [AS. beginnan (akin to OS. biginnan, D. & G. beginnen, OHG. biginnan, Goth., du ginnan, Sw. begynna, Dan. begynde); pref. be + an assumed ginnan. [root]31. See {Gin} to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • begin — ► VERB (beginning; past began; past part. begun) 1) perform or undergo the first part of (an action or activity). 2) come into being. 3) have as its starting point. 4) (begin on/upon) set to work on. 5 …   English terms dictionary

  • Begin — Be*gin , v. t. 1. To enter on; to commence. [1913 Webster] Ye nymphs of Solyma ! begin the song. Pope. [1913 Webster] 2. To trace or lay the foundation of; to make or place a beginning of. [1913 Webster] The apostle begins our knowledge in the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.