American English

Definition of commence verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



[intransitive, transitive] (formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they commence
he / she / it commences
past simple commenced
-ing form commencing
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to begin to happen; to begin something The negotiations are scheduled to commence at noon. I will be on leave during the week commencing February 15th. commence with something The day commenced with a welcome from the principal. commence something She commenced her medical career in 1956. The company commenced operations in April. to commence bankruptcy proceedings against someone commence doing something We commence building next week. commence to do something Operators commenced to build pipelines in 1862. Thesaurusstartbegin start off kick off commence openThese words are all used to talk about things happening from the beginning, or people doing the first part of something.start to begin to happen or exist; to begin in a particular way or from a particular point:When does the class start?begin to start to happen or exist; to start in a particular way or from a particular point; to start speaking:When does the concert begin?start or begin?There is not much difference in meaning between these words. Start is more frequent in spoken English and in business contexts;begin is more frequent in written English and is often used when you are describing a series of events:The story begins on the island of Corfu.Start is not used to mean “begin speaking”:“Ladies and gentlemen,” he started.start off (somewhat informal) to start happening or to start doing something; to start by doing or being something:The discussion started off mildly enough.kick off (informal) to start an event or activity, especially in a particular way; (of an event, activity, etc.) to start, especially in a particular way:Tom will kick off with a few comments. The festival kicks off on Monday with a free concert.commence (formal) to start happening:The negotiations are scheduled to commence at to start an event or activity in a particular way; (of an event, movie, or book) to start, especially in a particular way:The story opens with a murder.Patterns to start/begin/start off/kick off/commence/open with something to start/begin/start off/kick off/commence/open by doing something to start/begin/start off as something a campaign/season/meeting starts/begins/starts off/kicks off/commences/opens a play/show/movie/book starts/begins/starts off/opens
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: commence