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[bih-gat] /bɪˈgæt/
verb, Archaic.
simple past tense of beget.


[bih-gats] /bɪˈgæts/
plural noun, Informal.
genealogical lists, especially those in the Old Testament.
Origin of begats
noun plural use of begat


[bih-get] /bɪˈgɛt/
verb (used with object), begot or (Archaic) begat; begotten or begot; begetting.
(especially of a male parent) to procreate or generate (offspring).
to cause; produce as an effect:
a belief that power begets power.
before 1000; Middle English begeten (see be-, get); replacing Middle English biyeten, Old English begetan; cognate with Gothic bigitan, Old High German bigezzan
Related forms
begetter, noun
1. spawn, sire, breed, father. 2. occasion, engender, effect, generate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for begat
  • Frustration begat resentment which begat lack of focus which begat a floundering career.
  • The interspecies hybridization that begat today's polar bears was possible because of climate fluctuations.
  • Each of those companies has waxed and waned, yet all helped build technology that begat other technologies.
  • Wealth begat wealth and influence spawned influence.
  • The country's postwar economic miracle begat a complacency that inhibited fundamental change.
  • He begat the project but was then shut out for being a perceived security risk.
  • Birds with big beaks tended to have chicks with big beaks, and small beaks begat small beaks.
  • That's why the guardians fear the knowledge begat by questioning.
  • Several are military brats who married military brats and begat military brats.
  • Backwoods immediately begat backwoodsman and was itself turned into a common adjective.
British Dictionary definitions for begat


(archaic) a past tense of beget


verb (transitive) -gets, -getting, -got, -gat, -gotten, -got
to father
to cause or create
Derived Forms
begetter, noun
Word Origin
Old English begietan; related to Old Saxon bigetan, Old High German pigezzan, Gothic bigitan to find; see be-, get
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for begat

archaic past tense of beget.



Old English begietan "to get by effort, find, acquire, attain, seize" (class V strong verb, past tense begeat, past participle begeaton), from be- + get (v.). Sense of "to procreate" is from c.1200. Related to Old High German pigezzan, Gothic bigitan "to get, obtain." Related: Begot; begotten.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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