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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Men belonging to all orders (promiscuously) beget offspring upon women of all the orders.

    The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 2 Translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli
  • For invention and improvement are prolific, and beget more of their kind.

    The Age of Invention Holland Thompson
  • As they failed to beget compliance, they were instantly followed by a blow from the blade of his sabre.

    The Lone Ranche Captain Mayne Reid
  • He will tell you that he has always known that some day he must wed and do his best to beget a son.

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
  • Only the consciousness that the struggle is in behalf of the most sacred of causes can beget prodigies of heroism.

  • For there is not anything more effectual to beget true magnanimity.

    Meditations Marcus Aurelius
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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