Date: 1200-1300
Origin: Probably from Old English bedecian


Related topics: Pets
beg past tense and past participle begged, present participle begging


[intransitive and transitive] to ask for something in an anxious or urgent way, because you want it very much:
She begged and pleaded with them until they finally agreed.
She fought back the sudden urge to run to him and beg his forgiveness.
beg to do something
The children begged to come with us.
beg somebody to do something
I begged Helen to stay, but she wouldn't listen.
beg (somebody) for something
She ran to the nearest house and begged for help.
We could hear the prisoners begging for mercy.
I beg of you formal (=please)
Listen, I beg of you.
beg leave to do something formal (=ask permission to do something)


[intransitive and transitive] to ask people to give you food, money etc, usually because you are very poor
beg (something) from somebody
a ragged child begging from passing shoppers
beg for
The old man went from door to door begging for food.
a begging letter (=a letter asking for money)


[intransitive]DHP if a dog begs, it sits up with its front legs off the ground

I beg your pardon

a) used to ask someone to repeat what they have just said:
'The meeting's on Wednesday.' 'I beg your pardon?' 'I said the meeting's on Wednesday.'
b) used to say sorry when you have made a mistake, or said something wrong or embarrassing:
Oh, I beg your pardon. I thought you said 15 pence, not 50.
see usage note excuse1
c) used to show that you strongly disagree with something that someone has said, or think it is unacceptable:
'Chicago's an awful place.' 'I beg your pardon, that's where I'm from!'

I beg to differ

spoken formal used to say firmly that you do not agree with something that has been said:
I must beg to differ on this point.

beg the question

a) to make you want to ask a question that has not yet been answered
beg the question of
This proposal begs the question of who is going to pay for the new building.
b) to treat an idea as though it were true or had been proved, when this may not be the case

be going begging

British English spoken if something is going begging, it is available for anyone who wants it:
There's a beer going begging if anyone's interested.

beg, borrow, or steal

to do whatever you must in order to get what you want - often used humorously:
She'd beg, borrow, or steal the money for those shoes.
request to officially ask for something
to ask someone for advice
to ask for something very forcefully
/pester to keep asking for something many times, in an annoying way
/plead to ask for something in an anxious or urgent way, because you want it very much
/interrogate to ask someone questions - used especially about the police or the army
informal to ask someone a lot of difficult questions
to ask someone questions in court - used about lawyers
to ask a lot of people for their opinion about something

See also

Dictionary results for "beg"
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