Definition of beg in English:

beg

See synonyms for beg

Translate beg into Spanish

verbverb begs, verb begging, verb begged

  • 1reporting verb Ask (someone) earnestly or humbly for something.

    with object and infinitive ‘she begged me to say nothing to her father’
    • ‘I must beg of you not to act impulsively’
    • ‘I begged him for mercy’
    • ‘So I beg of you, please, do not carry on this tradition.’
    • ‘So, I beg of you, when you see a cyclist on the road, give plenty of space.’
    • ‘I beg of you, do not distress yourself over this.’
    • ‘‘Please I beg of you, think of what your doing’ Eve said, pleading for her life.’
    • ‘I beg of you please revive the life of this young boy, Hardy.’
    • ‘Save me from any more embarrassment, please I beg of you - whoever is in charge of embarrassing people!’
    • ‘God please, please, please, I beg of you, make my feelings for Jalil disappear.’
    • ‘I beg of you, mother, to walk me down the aisle for no other person would be suited to do so in my eyes.’
    • ‘If I speak to you less often and seem less cordial than before, do not be offended, I beg of you.’
    • ‘If I have done anything to screw it up, I beg of you to push it aside and forgive me.’
    • ‘She bows down at his feet (no Pharisee in Galilee did that!) and presents herself humbly as she begs for his help.’
    • ‘When he had left the house, he had pleaded and begged his grandmother to come with him, but she had refused.’
    • ‘I pleaded for him and begged them to take me instead, but they forced me away.’
    • ‘I could hear her begging my father for my forgiveness, but I could also tell that she was failing as my father's voice dissipated completely.’
    • ‘Children cried and clung to their fathers, begging them not to go.’
    • ‘Michelle smiled at her other two friends, begging them to forgive him as she had.’
    • ‘That night Paul and John begged their father to play.’
    • ‘I'm begging anyone with any information to contact the police.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, farmers are begging their banks for the funds to survive.’
    beseech, entreat, implore, adjure, plead with, appeal to, pray to
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Ask for (something) earnestly or humbly.
      ‘he begged their forgiveness’
      • ‘“Don't leave me,” she begged’
      • ‘‘Humbly do I beg your forgiveness, Lord,’ she said clearly, bowing her head.’
      • ‘I most humbly beg leave to trouble your grace with these few lines.’
      • ‘There are many others, in scouting, involved and I beg their forgiveness for not mentioning them by name.’
      • ‘Then, embarrassed by his own behavior, Orlando begged their forgiveness and hurried to retrieve Adam.’
      • ‘Just as I was about to beg their forgiveness, I saw the energy between them changing.’
      • ‘She was right to go to the women, express her sincere regret and ask their forgiveness, but she was wrong to continue begging it once it was clear they would not give it.’
      • ‘The two delegates approached the supreme leader on several occasions trying to beg mercy for their fellow reformers.’
      • ‘His eyes begged a silent plea of forgiveness, but she only shook her head.’
      • ‘Then the exhausted Shackleton begs ships from numerous navies until he finally returns for his crew in an almost unparalleled saga of the bravery we all want to be able to show and only a handful ever manage.’
      • ‘In every other aspect of daily life there's usually something that stands out and begs the attention of the eye or the ear - typestyles fall out of favor, and hence define an era.’
      • ‘Luckily he is very polite and begs forgiveness.’
      • ‘Do I find a Master and beg of him to solve this riddle?’
      ask for, request, plead for, appeal for, call for, sue for, solicit, seek, look for, press for
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Ask formally for (permission to do something)
      ‘I will now beg leave to make some observations’
      • ‘we beg to inform you that we are instructed to wait’
  • 2no object Ask for something, typically food or money, as charity or a gift.

    ‘a young woman was begging in the street’
    • ‘they had to beg for food’
    • ‘Her husband, William Good, was a simple laborer and his inadequate income forced the Goods to accept charity and to beg for goods from their neighbors.’
    • ‘A friend told me that it was better living on the street, because there you could beg for money and food.’
    • ‘Egypt must not remain poor and must not beg for food from the international community.’
    • ‘You might see two parents working hard for a living, and yet their children would beg for food in the streets.’
    • ‘They were poor having no stock save a cow and a few hens, and often had to beg for food around the parish.’
    • ‘What is even worse is when people actively beg for money, in that they come up to you in the street and ask you for money.’
    • ‘So the crippled beg for food but are shown little compassion.’
    • ‘They beg for money, often using bits of broken English they pick up from the occasional soldier they encounter.’
    • ‘Every day poor people came to her house to beg for food and every day she sent them away with nothing.’
    • ‘She was so low on money these days that she felt the need to beg for money.’
    • ‘At times we are forced to go and beg for food from nearby homesteads.’
    • ‘They have gone to streets in town where they beg for money to survive.’
    • ‘The poor were also allowed to beg for money in these buildings.’
    • ‘He assumed that she was a wandering beggar who had come to beg for food and shelter.’
    • ‘He had to beg for money in order to eat, but received very little.’
    • ‘He recounts the incident of a man who came to beg for food for his starving child.’
    • ‘I'm going to go beg for money and we might end up with enough to rent a room to stay for tonight.’
    • ‘Maybe she could find the train station and beg for some money to catch a train out or town.’
    • ‘Their decision to beg seems to be paying handsome dividends.’
    • ‘A man begging cornered me and asked me for some spare change.’
    ask for money, solicit money, seek charity, seek alms
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1with object Acquire (something) from someone by begging.
      ‘a piece of bread that I begged from a farmer’
      • ‘They slept in the open and begged food from farmers.’
      • ‘She begged money from parishioners going to and from St Anne's Cathedral.’
      • ‘The journey took three days; he begged food and money along the way.’
      take as a loan, ask for the loan of, receive as a loan, use temporarily, have temporarily
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2(of a dog) sit up with the front paws raised expectantly in the hope of a reward.
      ‘My tongue stops midway to going back into my mouth, with the ice cream still on the tip, I must look like a dog begging for a bone or something.’
      • ‘The smartly dressed man shooed the boy away, as if it was an annoying dog begging for a piece of meat.’
      • ‘Mom's eyes were like a puppy's begging for a scrap from the dinner table.’
      • ‘A laugh escaped, she looked like a small puppy begging for attention again.’
      • ‘His eyes were glinting with pleading; he looked like a dog begging for food.’
      • ‘Her party trick is to stand on her back legs and beg for food very much like a dog begs.’
      • ‘It took him five minutes to walk to the backyard shed, inside would be the cute little puppy Shadow, whom would lick and beg for food from Chad.’
      • ‘He would sit up and beg for food every few moments, at which point Kayty would take something off of her plate and hold it out for him.’

Pronunciation

beg

/beɡ/ /bɛɡ/

Usage

The original meaning of the phrase beg the question belongs to the field of logic and is a translation of the Latin term petitio principii, literally meaning ‘laying claim to a principle’ (that is, assuming something that ought to be proved first), as in the following sentence: by devoting such a large part of the anti-drug budget to education, we are begging the question of its significance in the battle against drugs. To some traditionalists, this is still the only correct meaning. However, over the last 100 years or so, another, more general use has arisen: ‘invite an obvious question,’ as in some definitions of mental illness beg the question of what constitutes normal behavior. This is by far the more common use today in modern standard English

Phrases

    beg one's bread
    archaic
    • Live by begging.

      ‘She had even to beg her bread on the streets; for who wanted to help the woman who wasted wheat?’
      • ‘Better were it for us to beg our bread and clothe ourselves in rags, than to part with Christian simplicity and frankness.’
      • ‘Face flushing a deep red with anger, Lisette was of a mind to box Bess’ ears soundly then send her away to beg her bread as a vagrant along the roads.’
      • ‘He was a boy of nine years old when he buried first his father and then his mother, and he had no other resource than to beg his bread from door to door.’
      • ‘By this unlucky accident, he that had seen so much of the world for such a length of time was reduced to the most indigent state, and at length forced to beg his bread.’
    beg the question
    • 1(of a fact or action) raise a question or point that has not been dealt with; invite an obvious question.

      ‘some definitions of mental illness beg the question of what constitutes normal behavior’
      • ‘In fact, it begs the question whether preserving today's national boundaries is a worthwhile goal.’
      • ‘But that begs the question of why that deal happened now as opposed to two years ago and what we had to give up to get it.’
      • ‘In fact, it only begs the question of whether they have evolved at all.’
      • ‘No real surprises here but it begs the question of why such obvious flaws were never caught in advance.’
      • ‘These facts beg the question: Are these AIDS awareness initiatives ineffective?’
      • ‘It seems that every political question ultimately begs the question, ‘how do we proceed?’’
      • ‘But this obviously begs the question: who gets control of the remote?’
      • ‘Which begs the question: do you think they were raised by bears?’
      • ‘Saying that the consideration is what moves the transfer begs the question, really, because the question here is, what does move it?’
      • ‘While the new questions do not seem provocative, they do beg the question: What is the point of it all?’
      • ‘She obviously didn't have a clue - which begged the question about why she was even here and how she'd even got the job.’
      • ‘But we don't really believe that, and the topic begs other questions, like: How many younger women are rocking the establishment?’
      • ‘It begs the burning question - are they engagement rings?’
      • ‘Which begs the big question: What is the right thing?’
      • ‘They are out there being a problem well past midnight which begs the questions, do their parents know where they are and what they are doing?’
      • ‘It does beg the question about whether its findings proved embarrassing.’
      • ‘It has proved difficult to argue for one choice over another without simply begging the question against competing positions.’
      • ‘Which begs a question: Who, then, is tougher than an opponent?’
      • ‘It also begs the questions as to who benefits from these matches, because Clare can have learned little about themselves from what was little more than a training exercise.’
      • ‘But the idea of biking around in cold weather, or bombing down a snowy mountainside, begs some obvious questions: isn't it kind of dangerous?’
    • 2Assume the truth of an argument or proposition to be proved, without arguing it.

      ‘It might be argued that it begs the question to assume that exploitation can be mutually advantageous and consensual.’
      • ‘The argument has been criticized for begging the question: it assumes the universe is designed in order to prove that it is the work of a designer.’
      • ‘The problem with many of the criteria is that they either assume what they seek to prove or simply beg the question.’
      • ‘But this begs the question, for it assumes that the state and religion arose from two independent sources.’
      • ‘It therefore begs the question and doesn't prove a thing about real-life biological evolution.’
      • ‘And an argument that begs the question clearly does not work.’
      • ‘It may be objected that this argument begs the question.’
      • ‘This argument assumes the conclusion, and so begs the question.’
      • ‘It seems to me that this begs the question as well as implicitly assuming a kind of universal agreement about human rights that I don't think is historically supported.’
      • ‘Hasn't Hume just begged the question against them - not so much proved that they are wrong as simply assumed it?’
      • ‘These arguments are indeed plausible, but beg the question.’
      • ‘There are two people internal to her investigative staff that have recommended an independent counsel on the basis of what we know today, and to say she wouldn't do it, begs the question.’
    • 3Avoid the question; evade the issue.

      ‘First, Fetter maintained that those examples that assumed a rate of productivity begged the question and failed to establish technical productivity as a cause of interest.’
      • ‘This is especially true of objection that the ontological argument begs the question.’
      • ‘But in any case, the argument fails, since it clearly begs the question at last step.’
      • ‘That, with due respect, assumes a huge link between the two, which rather begs the question.’
      • ‘But the hypothetical scenario begs the question.’
    beg, borrow, or steal
    • Do whatever may be necessary to acquire something greatly desired.

      ‘I'm gonna get the money to buy Casey's ring, even if I have to beg, borrow, or steal’
      • ‘Tickets won't be easy to come by but whether you have to beg, borrow, or steal, you don't want to miss these two games.’
      • ‘The women and seniors should beg, borrow, or steal in order to incorporate some of those ideas.’
      • ‘It was issued to the Union troops starting with breakfast, and it was consumed in heroic quantities by every soldier who could beg, borrow, or steal a keg.’
      • ‘As the pool of accounting students shrinks, employers scramble to beg, borrow, or steal entry-level finance staffers.’
      • ‘Perhaps Americans are more willing to beg, borrow, or steal ideas that work than Europeans are.’
    go begging
    • 1(of an article) be available for use because unwanted by others.

      ‘half the apartments in New York go begging in the summer’
      • ‘‘We are a country of the last minute,’ said Cesare Vaciago, director general of the Turin organising committee, in response to reports in the last fortnight that 370,000 of the one million available tickets were still going begging.’
      1. 1.1(of an opportunity) not be taken.
        ‘we let so many good chances go begging’
        • ‘Although they scored four tries, at least five other golden scoring opportunities went begging.’
        • ‘He wasn't so foolish to talk about all the opportunities that went begging.’
        • ‘They missed the chance to go ahead after seven minutes when a penalty opportunity went begging.’
        • ‘This was a wake up call for the brothers and they started to convert the opportunities that had earlier gone begging.’
        • ‘Chance after chance went begging in the second half.’

Phrasal Verbs

    beg off
    • also beg off somethingWithdraw or ask to be released from an undertaking or obligation.

      ‘I'd planned to take Christy to dinner, but I was in a mood, and I begged off’
      • ‘if a client needed his attention, he begged off other commitments’
      • ‘You know, and Dean begs off the question, wisely, I thought.’
      • ‘Could you picture someone like Kathy Griffin begging off a celebrity show because of mosquitoes?’
      • ‘Through a spokesman, she begged off with a claim that she was ‘on a long-planned trip with her husband and two children.’’
      • ‘Only Casper - who insisted we were moving too slow, since by this time we'd climbed only one peak in 26 hours of travel - begged off.’
      • ‘Granted, I begged off being a bridesmaid, so it could be worse.’
      • ‘Weak with laughter, I finally begged off… but only when he announced he had to go to the toilet and be funny in there.’
      • ‘Then Dailey begged off because he had just finished directing something.’
      • ‘I had to constantly beg off invitations to the local ‘tittie bar’ from co-workers, but our section of the warehouse stocked all forms of luggage and back packs, and to this day, I am fully stocked with all forms of luggage and backpacks.’
      • ‘You can't know what types of arguments a future case might present, but you do know the arguments presented in past cases so there is no reason to allow a nominee to beg off on answering such a question.’
      • ‘I've spent the last three nights working until 1am and I'm rather tired of it, so I'm going to beg off tonight.’
      • ‘So if you allow me, I'll beg off of a guess on that one.’
      • ‘Having posted a list of ‘Perfect Albums’ a while back, I'm half tempted to just beg off.’
      • ‘You know, when the weather's so rotten you can beg off school or work and no one thinks you're just being a bum?’
      • ‘Karl begs off when first invited into her home, but returns when he finds she left her gloves in the cab.’
      • ‘We were going to rehearse, but Drew's begging off,’ Cash, the drummer, remarked with a smirk.’
      • ‘One thing I know… this one I won't be begging off of when the kids want to go see it.’
      • ‘People who forward too much volume or too little of interest find people begging off their lists.’
      • ‘The Duke of Osaka has begged off from the evening activities; I understand that he was sorely traumatized that the people behind the attacks were members of his daughter's staff.’
      • ‘Something about his urgency penetrated Tennyson's chord-sotted brain: after a brief confused pause, he begged off the dance and went to look for Clara by the citrus and bubblegum punch fountain.’
      • ‘Mr. Thomas suggested a walk on deck after dinner, but Caroline begged off and hurried back to her cabin, leaving him to adjourn to the smoking room to mingle with the other male passengers in second class for a while before retiring to bed.’

Origin

Middle English probably from Old English bedecian, of Germanic origin; related to bid.