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[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.
Origin of beget
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 beget
  • In this game, violence doesn't necessarily beget violence.
  • Literature reviews for new projects bring up questions that beget future work.
  • There are other ways in which less money can beget social payoff.
  • In short, lies beget lies, and the antic confusion is meant to beget laughs.
  • Chimney fires could beget larger blazes that would destroy blocks and blocks of wooden houses.
  • Proteins burned to a crisp beget mutagens, gene-damaging chemicals that have caused cancer in laboratory animals.
  • The point is, interventions beget more interventions.
  • In the performing arts idols beget idols beget idols.
  • Conversely, penalizing success tends to beget less of it.
  • But soft-shell crabs beget a challenge to chefs, who come up with all sorts of interesting and unusual ways to prepare them.
British Dictionary definitions for 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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for 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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