Be*gin" (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Began (?), Begun (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Beginning (?).] [AS. beginnan (akin to OS. biginnan, D. & G. beginnen, OHG. biginnan, Goth., du-ginnan, Sw. begynna, Dan. begynde); pref. be- + an assumed ginnan. √31. See Gin to begin.] 1. To have or commence an independent or first existence; to take rise; to commence.

Vast chain of being! which from God began.

2. To do the first act or the first part of an action; to enter upon or commence something new, as a new form or state of being, or course of action; to take the first step; to start. "Tears began to flow." Dryden.

When I begin, I will also make an end.
1 Sam. iii. 12.

Be*gin", v. t. 1. To enter on; to commence.

Ye nymphs of Solyma ! begin the song.

2. To trace or lay the foundation of; to make or place a beginning of.

The apostle begins our knowledge in the creatures, which leads us to the knowledge of God.

Syn. -- To commence; originate; set about; start.

Be*gin", n. Beginning. [Poetic & Obs.] Spenser.