Meaning of “beg” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"beg" in British English

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begverb

uk /beɡ/ us /beɡ/ -gg-

B2 [ I or T ] to make a very strong and urgent request:

They begged for mercy.
[ + speech ] "Please, please forgive me!" she begged (him).
[ + obj + to infinitive ] He begged her to stay, but she simply laughed and put her bags in the car.

B2 [ I or T ] to ask for food or money because you are poor:

There are more and more homeless people begging on the streets these days.
She had to beg for money and food for her children.
He begged a loan from his boss.

[ I ] If a dog begs, it sits with its front legs in the air as if to ask for something:

They have trained their dog to sit up and beg.
I beg your pardon

a polite way of saying "I am sorry" or "Could you repeat what you just said?"

a way of showing that you are angry about something that someone has just said:

I beg your pardon? I hope you're not implying that I lied!

More examples

  • She made her old boyfriend beg her to come back and then she turned him down!
  • He went down on his knees and begged for forgiveness.
  • He decided to go, although I begged him not to.
  • He bowed down before the king and begged for mercy.
  • He was screaming in pain and begging for anaesthetic.

(Definition of “beg” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"beg" in American English

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begverb [ I/T ]

us /beɡ/ -gg-

to ask for money, or to ask someone to do something in an urgent way:

[ I ] There are a lot of homeless people begging on the streets these days.
[ T ] Is your child begging you for a skateboard?

If a dog begs, it sits with its front legs in the air as if to ask for something.

(Definition of “beg” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)