American English

Definition of beginning noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable, usually singular] beginning (of something) the time when something starts; the first part of an event, a story, etc. We're going to Japan at the beginning ofJuly. She's been working there since the beginning of last summer. We missed the beginning of the movie. Let's start again from the beginning. The birth of their first child marked the beginning of a new era in their married life. I've read the whole book from beginning to end and still can't understand it. At the beginning (of) is used for the time and place when something begins. In the beginning  = at first and suggests a contrast with a later situation.
  2. 2beginnings [plural] the first or early ideas, signs, or stages of something Did democracy have its beginnings in ancient Greece? He built up his multimillion-dollar music business from small beginnings.
  3. Idioms
    the beginning of the end
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    the first sign of something ending The scandal was the beginning of the end of his career as a politician.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: beginning

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