begin - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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English definition of “begin”

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begin

verb [I or T] uk   us   /bɪˈɡɪn/ (present participle beginning, past tense began, past participle begun)

begin verb [I or T] (START TO HAPPEN)

A1 to start to happen or exist: What time does the concert begin? The bridge was begun five years ago and the estimated cost has already doubled. The film they want to watch begins at seven. The meeting began promisingly, but then things started to go wrong.
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begin verb [I or T] (START TO DO)

A2 to start to do something: I began the book six months ago, but I can't seem to finish it. [+ -ing verb] Jane has just begun learning to drive. If you want to learn to play a musical instrument, it might be a good idea to begin on something simple. [+ to infinitive] After waiting for half an hour she was beginning to get angry. I have so much to tell you, I don't know where to begin.
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begin verb [I or T] (START SPEAKING)

to start speaking: [+ speech] "Well," he began. "I don't quite know how to tell you this."

begin verb [I or T] (FIRST PART)

to have something as the first part: The word "cat" begins with the letter "c".
(Definition of begin from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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