American English

Definition of beg verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they beg
    he / she / it begs
    past simple begged
    -ing form begging
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to ask someone 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 forgiveness from him. Can I beg a favor 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. She begged that she should be allowed to go. beg of somebody (formal) Don't leave me here, I beg of you!
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] to ask someone for money, food, etc., especially in the street Chicago is full of homeless people begging in the streets. 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 café.
  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
  4. Idioms
    beg leave to do something (formal)
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    to ask someone for permission to do something I beg leave to add a few comments of my own.
    be going begging (informal)
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    if something is going begging, it is available because no one else wants it Half the apartments in New York go begging in the summer.
      beg the question
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    1. 1to make someone 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.
      I beg your pardon
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    1. 1(formal) used to tell someone 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 someone to repeat what they have just said because you did not hear “It's on Bleecker Street.” “I beg your pardon.” “Bleecker Street.”
    3. 3used to tell someone 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!”
    I beg to differ
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    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 Learner's Dictionary entry: beg

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