Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or process of bringing or being brought into being; a start.
  • n. The time when something begins or is begun: the beginning of the war.
  • n. The place where something begins or is begun: at the beginning of the road.
  • n. A source; an origin: What was the beginning of the dispute?
  • n. The first part: The front matter is at the beginning of the book.
  • n. An early or rudimentary phase. Often used in the plural: the beginnings of human life on this planet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of doing that which begins anything; commencement of an action, state, or space of time; entrance into being or upon a course; the first act, effort, or state of a succession of acts or states.
  • n. That which is begun; a rudiment or element.
  • n. That which begins or originates something; the first cause; origin; source.
  • n. The initial portion of some extended thing.
  • v. Present participle of begin.
  • adj. Of or relating to the first portion of some extended thing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of doing that which begins anything; commencement of an action, state, or space of time; entrance into being or upon a course; the first act, effort, or state of a succession of acts or states.
  • n. That which begins or originates something; the first cause; origin; source.
  • n. That which is begun; a rudiment or element.
  • n. Enterprise.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The origin; source; first cause.
  • n. The point of time or epoch at which anything begins; specifically, the time when the universe began to be.
  • n. The initial stage or first part of any process or proceeding; the starting-point: as, a small beginning.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the first part or section of something
  • n. the time at which something is supposed to begin
  • n. the place where something begins, where it springs into being
  • adj. serving to begin
  • n. the act of starting something
  • n. the event consisting of the start of something

Etymologies

Verbal noun of begin. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It is here contended, on the other hand, that no conservation of any such variations could ever have given rise to the faintest beginning of any such moral perceptions; that by "Natural Selection" alone the maxim _fiat justitia, ruat coelum_ could never have been excogitated, still less have found a widespread acceptance; that it is impotent to suggest even an approach towards an explanation of the _first beginning_ of the idea of

    On the Genesis of Species

  • But while no hypothesis of development can neutralize or explain away the great geologic fact, that every true species had a beginning independently, apparently, of every preceding species, there was demonstrably a general progress, in the course of creation, from lower to higher forms, which seems scarce less fraught with important consequences to the natural theologian than this fact of _beginning_ itself.

    The Testimony of the Rocks or, Geology in Its Bearings on the Two Theologies, Natural and Revealed

  • He was near the end; nay, rather, near the beginning, according to the saying, _when a man hath finished then is he but at the beginning_. [

    St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh

  • It claims to have used the term beginning in July 2001 and accuses Bauer of infringing its mark.

  • His record of Supreme Court clerks, including his reported hires for the term beginning in October:

    Opera-loving justices bring the music to the high court

  • She eventually became a leader of the Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, initially as a founder and then as the first president of the Women's Division, her term beginning in 1956.

    Personal Information for Helene Moses

  • District Judge Ronald N. Davies decided, and ruled that nine black students be admitted for the term beginning in the fall of 1957.

    Eric Burns: The Golden Year of Television News

  • The EAA agreement would be for the term beginning in July '07.

    Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Thursday

  • Iceland, not to mention another I see with the title beginning

    The Complete Father Brown

  • “The man Linda Dale wrote about had a name beginning with the initial J.”

    Magnolia Moon

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