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began

[bih-gan] /bɪˈgæn/
verb
1.
simple past tense of begin.

begin

[bih-gin] /bɪˈgɪn/
verb (used without object), began, begun, beginning.
1.
to proceed to perform the first or earliest part of some action; commence; start:
The story begins with their marriage.
2.
to come into existence; arise; originate:
The custom began during the Civil War.
verb (used with object), began, begun, beginning.
3.
to proceed to perform the first or earliest part of (some action):
Begin the job tomorrow.
4.
to originate; be the originator of:
civic leaders who began the reform movement.
5.
to succeed to the slightest extent in (followed by an infinitive):
The money won't even begin to cover expenses.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English beginnen, Old English beginnan, equivalent to be- be- + -ginnan to begin, perhaps orig. to open, akin to yawn
Synonyms
3. 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. 4. institute, inaugurate, initiate.
Antonyms
1. end.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for began
  • Pollen began looking for genes, near these deletions, that could affect brain size.
  • And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true.
  • The expedition's food supplies soon began to dwindle.
  • Seas rose, glaciers retreated and ecosystems began to transform.
  • Running with the bulls began to grow in popularity, despite efforts to stop it.
  • Once the fundamental features were uncovered, the decorating began.
  • Always a little slow to adapt, higher education began this year to explore the academic uses of smartphones and tablets.
  • These minerals began to crystallize between the waterlogged wood's cell walls.
  • Walker, she began by using the prescribed curriculum to shape and mold us as her students.
  • Soon heavy snow began to fall, and the temperature plunged.
British Dictionary definitions for began

began

/bɪˈɡæn/
verb
1.
the past tense of begin

begin

/bɪˈɡɪn/
verb -gins, -ginning, -gan, -gun
1.
to start or cause to start (something or to do something)
2.
to bring or come into being for the first time; arise or originate
3.
to start to say or speak
4.
(used with a negative) to have the least capacity (to do something) he couldn't begin to compete with her
5.
to begin with, in the first place
Word Origin
Old English beginnan; related to Old High German biginnan, Gothic duginnan

Begin

/ˈbɛɡɪn/
noun
1.
Menachem (məˈnɑːkɪm). 1913–92, Israeli statesman, born in Poland. In Palestine after 1942, he became a leader of the militant Zionists; prime minister of Israel (1977–83); Nobel peace prize jointly with Sadat 1978. In 1979 he concluded the Camp David treaty with Anwar Sadat of Egypt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for began
v.

past tense of begin.

begin

v.

Old English beginnan "to begin, attempt, undertake," a rare word beside the more usual form onginnan (class III strong verb; past tense ongann, past participle ongunnen); from bi- (see be-) + West Germanbic *ginnan, of obscure meaning and found only in compounds, perhaps "to open, open up" (cf. Old High German in-ginnan "to cut open, open up," also "begin, undertake"), with sense evolution from "open" to "begin." Cognates elsewhere in Germanic include Old Frisian biginna "to begin," Middle Dutch beghinnen, Old High German beginnan, German beginnen, Old Frisian bijenna "to begin," Gothic duginnan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with began
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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