Definition of beg verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//beɡ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//beɡ//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they beg
    BrE BrE//beɡ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//beɡ//
    he / she / it begs
    BrE BrE//beɡz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//beɡz//
    past simple begged
    BrE BrE//beɡd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//beɡd//
    past participle begged
    BrE BrE//beɡd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//beɡd//
    -ing form begging
    BrE BrE//ˈbeɡɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbeɡɪŋ//
    Poverty and famine
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to ask somebody for something especially in an anxious way because you want or need it very much beg (for something) He wants to see them beg for mercy. beg somebody (for something) They begged him for help. Forgive me, I beg you! beg something (of/from somebody) She begged permission to leave. I managed to beg a lift from a passing motorist. Can I beg a favour of you? beg (somebody) + speech ‘Give me one more chance,’ he begged (her). beg somebody to do something She begged him not to go. beg to do something He begged to be told the truth. beg that… (formal) She begged that she be allowed to go. (British English also) She begged that she should be allowed to go. beg of somebody (formal) Don't leave me here, I beg of you! More Like This Verbs usually followed by infinitives afford, agree, appear, arrange, attempt, beg, choose, consent, decide, expect, fail, happen, hesitate, hope, intend, learn, manage, mean, neglect, offer, prepare, pretend, promise, refuse, swear, try, want, wishSee worksheet.
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] to ask somebody for money, food, etc., especially in the street London is full of homeless people begging in the streets. a begging letter (= one that asks somebody for money) a begging bowl (= used to beg for money with) beg for something (from somebody) The children were begging for food. beg something (from somebody) We managed to beg a meal from the cafe owner. Wordfinderbeg, benefit, charity, homeless, hostel, the poor, poverty, shanty town, sweatshop, unemployment See related entries: Poverty and famine
  3. 3[intransitive] if a dog begs, it sits on its back legs with its front legs in the air, waiting to be given something More Like This Consonant-doubling verbs bob, club, dub, grab, rub, sob, throb kid, nod, pad, plod, prod, shred, skid, thud beg, blog, bug, drag, drug, flag, hug, jog, log, mug, nag, plug bar, confer, infer, occur, prefer, refer, star, stir, transfer acquit, admit, allot, chat, clot, commit, jut, knit, pat, regret, rot, spot, submit (in British English:) appal, cancel, channel, control, counsel, enrol, equal, excel, fuel, fulfil, label, level, marvel, model, pedal, quarrel, signal, travelSee worksheet.
  4. Word OriginMiddle English: probably from Old English bedecian, of Germanic origin; related to bid2.Extra examples Don’t leave me, he begged her silently. He had to beg food from passers-by. In the end they almost begged him to take the job. They were forced to beg for food. We humbly beg Your Majesty to show mercy. We went to him to beg for forgiveness. begging for food ‘Give me one more chance,’ he begged. Don’t leave me here, I beg of you! He gets thousands of begging letters. I managed to beg a ride from a passing motorist. There were homeless people begging in the streets.Idioms
    beg leave to do something
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    (formal) to ask somebody for permission to do something I beg leave to add a few comments of my own.
    (British English, informal) if something is going begging, it is available because nobody else wants it I’ll have that last cake if it’s going begging.
    beg somebody’s pardon
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    (formal, especially British English) to ask somebody to forgive you for something you have said or done He returned to beg her pardon for his sudden outburst.
    1. 1to make somebody want to ask a question that has not yet been answered All of which begs the question as to who will fund the project.
    2. 2to talk about something as if it were definitely true, even though it might not be These assumptions beg the question that children learn languages more easily than adults.
    1. 1(formal) used to tell somebody that you are sorry for something you have said or done I beg your pardon, I thought that was my coat.
    2. 2used to ask somebody to repeat what they have just said because you did not hear ‘It's on Duke Street.’ ‘I beg your pardon.’ ‘Duke Street.’
    3. 3(British English) used to tell somebody that you are offended by what they have just said or by the way that they have said it ‘Just go away.’ ‘I beg your pardon!’
    used to say politely that you do not agree with something that has just been said ‘At least she is good at her job.’ ‘Oh, I beg to differ.’
    Phrasal Verbsbeg off
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: beg

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