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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
ask/beg/pray etc for (sb’s) forgiveness
▪ He never admitted his guilt or asked for forgiveness.
begging bowl
▪ Arts and theatre groups are constantly thrusting the begging bowl at the government.
beg/plead for mercy (=ask in a desperate way for someone's mercy)
▪ She continued the punishment, although they begged for mercy.
▪ One of the last nights, Amelia begged off going to a party and stayed home, so Toot stayed home too.
▪ He begs off from a movie on Saturday.
▪ Could he back out, beg off?
▪ Binyomin asked me to go with him to the soup kitchen, but I begged off even though I was hungry.
▪ Mad faces pushed against the grilles in the doors, tortured ones begging for mercy.
▪ Later, during a frightful storm, a princess knocked at the castle door, begging for shelter.
▪ The angel, disguised as an old man, went from door to door begging for food and drink.
▪ Corrigan remembered the people coming up to the stable door and begging food or work.
▪ I carried on knocking on the door and begging to be let in.
▪ He rowed him back however and the convict went to the door to beg for money.
▪ Sometimes a tramp would knock on the back door, begging for food or offering to do a job for a few coppers.
▪ By now I was extremely hungry, so I used sign language to beg the official for food.
▪ The man is oblivious to his living conditions and the fact his 9-year-old son begs food from the neighborhood grocer.
▪ Gerd suddenly says he is hungry, and begs some food from one or more of the adventurers.
▪ In a village she asks for work without success and then begs for food.
▪ Having given away all her money in Rome, she begged her food, or existed on charitable donations.
▪ Presumably it knew such begging meant food is being served nearby.
▪ When he was released he begged for food at markets by dragging himself along on his knees.
▪ I never begged anyone for food.
▪ I was too proud to follow him and beg forgiveness.
▪ C., to beg forgiveness for the way black men had mistreated their women and neglected their families.
▪ Confess your unworthy behaviour and beg his honour's forgiveness for all your faults.
▪ Then he humbly begged her forgiveness.
▪ Could Woodhead admit the affair, beg forgiveness and keep his job?
▪ At the end of the play, Derikson receives a letter from Frederica, whom he had thought dead, begging forgiveness.
▪ She fought back the sudden urge to run to him, to fling herself into his arms and beg his forgiveness.
▪ If the evil characters are not punished per se they admit their guilt and often beg forgiveness.
▪ He might as well have gotten down on his hands and knees and begged for it.
▪ And anyway I don't want to beg for Edgar's help, or make trouble for him.
▪ Cupid had told him the whole Story and had begged for his help.
▪ I suppose I should have just gone and begged for help but Shallot has his pride.
▪ Rescued by human teens and taken to the vet, Keelk recovers and begs for help to rescue her family.
▪ I hate the sound of people crying in pain, begging for help.
▪ Like his people, the Somalian President can only beg for help.
▪ SHe'd never begged help off anyone before - hadn't needed to.
▪ The men and women were on their knees, begging the agents and constables not to persist with the evictions.
▪ She has to be careful not to trip over these little kids who press forward at her knees, begging for autographs.
▪ He was on his knees, begging to stay.
▪ She fell on her knees before them and begged them to take her with them.
▪ I actually went on my knees and begged, but he laughed and there me out.
▪ He might as well have gotten down on his hands and knees and begged for it.
▪ He had another go at persuasion and wrote Adam long letters to his college begging for compromises.
▪ The directive to write a farewell letter of sorts begged several other questions, too.
▪ These letter flattered Brutus and begged him to do something about Rome.
▪ I wanted to cry, weep and beg the Almighty for mercy.
▪ Leonor has begged mercy for Manrique but the Count refuses.
▪ Mad faces pushed against the grilles in the doors, tortured ones begging for mercy.
▪ You feel you're begging for money ... Probably it's money that's coming to me because I have paid insurance.
▪ Just a few years ago, Tanya was homeless and begging for money in front of a supermarket in New York City.
▪ At times he was reduced to publishing acrostics in newspapers begging money for his wife and children.
▪ I was homeless and had to beg for money.
▪ Every year people are asked to write in and beg for money.
▪ The number was so huge, books were begging for San Diego money.
▪ At no time has the hospital begged for money for baby heaters.
▪ My fatherless children are alone up in Orkney while I beg for money.
▪ King: I beg thy pardon, Wapping.
▪ I beg your pardon, Professors.
▪ I am ashamed of it myself, and for this reason I stoop to beg your pardon.
▪ The question begs: is there, after all these centuries, an absolute best exercise for general fitness?
▪ The question begs other questions and is potentially leading and confusing.
▪ Never since the first world war have we had homeless teenage children begging in the streets.
▪ I had to beg in the street or go to the neighbors for help.
▪ I have never seen so many unemployed and homeless people begging on the streets of London.
▪ You ought to beg in the streets, not live here in comfort with a gentleman's family.
▪ They are the people begging in our streets.
▪ I hope that gradually we will stop seeing them begging on the streets without any prospects for their future.
I beg to differ
▪ Selling some of course. I beg to differ.
▪ Well having discussed this matter with many typical users of word processors, I beg to differ.
ask/beg sb's pardon (for sth)
▪ I am ashamed of it myself, and for this reason I stoop to beg your pardon.
▪ I ask you to pardon me.
▪ In 1182, he asked formally for pardon, prostrating himself before Barbarossa.
▪ All right, all right, I'll come! Just stop begging.
▪ Benji, stop begging.
▪ Chad was begging and pleading.
▪ Children were begging in the streets.
▪ He said he wouldn't give me the money unless I got down on my knees and begged him.
▪ It's the same old story - one night he beats her up, and the next day he begs her for forgiveness.
▪ Just a few years ago, Tanya was homeless and begging for money in front of the supermarket.
▪ Sad looking men of all ages beg from tourists at the corner of the square.
▪ The plan begs the question of whether the development is actually needed.
▪ The prisoner was in so much pain all he could do was scream and beg for mercy.
▪ Things got so bad that at one point she thought she'd have to go out and beg.
▪ We all begged him not to drive in the storm, but he wouldn't listen to us.
▪ Beppe overhears her plans and when he confronts her, she begs him not to tell Roy.
▪ He begged for a letter by return.
▪ He begged his parents for lessons and began piano studies at age five.
▪ He might as well have gotten down on his hands and knees and begged for it.
▪ He says that the police were right behind them - he begged his brother to stop.
▪ Such measures, of course, beg the question in many ways.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Beg \Beg\, n. [Turk. beg, pronounced bay. Cf. Bey, Begum.] A title of honor in Turkey and in some other parts of the East; a bey.


Beg \Beg\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Begged; p. pr. & vb. n. Begging.] [OE. beggen, perh. fr. AS. bedecian (akin to Goth. bedagwa beggar), biddan to ask. (Cf. Bid, v. t.); or cf. beghard, beguin.]

  1. To ask earnestly for; to entreat or supplicate for; to beseech.

    I do beg your good will in this case.

    [Joseph] begged the body of Jesus.
    --Matt. xxvii. 58.

    Note: Sometimes implying deferential and respectful, rather than earnest, asking; as, I beg your pardon; I beg leave to disagree with you.

  2. To ask for as a charity, esp. to ask for habitually or from house to house.

    Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
    --Ps. xxxvii. 25.

  3. To make petition to; to entreat; as, to beg a person to grant a favor.

  4. To take for granted; to assume without proof.

  5. (Old Law) To ask to be appointed guardiln for, or to aso to havo a guardian appointed for.

    Else some will beg thee, in the court of wards.
    --Harrington. [1913 Webster] Hence:

    To beg (one) for a fool, to take him for a fool.

    I beg to, is an elliptical expression for I beg leave to; as, I beg to inform you.

    To beg the question, to assume that which was to be proved in a discussion, instead of adducing the proof or sustaining the point by argument.

    To go a-begging, a figurative phrase to express the absence of demand for something which elsewhere brings a price; as, grapes are so plentiful there that they go a-begging.

    Syn: To Beg, Ask, Request.

    Usage: To ask (not in the sense of inquiring) is the generic term which embraces all these words. To request is only a polite mode of asking. To beg, in its original sense, was to ask with earnestness, and implied submission, or at least deference. At present, however, in polite life, beg has dropped its original meaning, and has taken the place of both ask and request, on the ground of its expressing more of deference and respect. Thus, we beg a person's acceptance of a present; we beg him to favor us with his company; a tradesman begs to announce the arrival of new goods, etc. Crabb remarks that, according to present usage, ``we can never talk of asking a person's acceptance of a thing, or of asking him to do us a favor.'' This can be more truly said of usage in England than in America.


Beg \Beg\, v. i. To ask alms or charity, especially to ask habitually by the wayside or from house to house; to live by asking alms.

I can not dig; to beg I am ashamed.
--Luke xvi. 3. [1913 Webster] ||

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1200, perhaps from Old English bedecian "to beg," from Proto-Germanic *beth-; or possibly from Anglo-French begger, from Old French begart (see beggar). The Old English word for "beg" was wædlian, from wædl "poverty." Of trained dogs, 1816.\n

\nAs a courteous mode of asking (beg pardon, etc.), first attested c.1600. To beg the question translates Latin petitio principii, and means "to assume something that hasn't been proven as a basis of one's argument," thus "asking" one's opponent to give something unearned, though more of the nature of taking it for granted without warrant.


Etymology 1 vb. 1 (context intransitive English) to request the help of someone, often in the form of money 2 (context transitive English) to plead with someone for help, a favor, etc.; to entreat 3 (context transitive English) to assume, in the phrase (term: beg the question) 4 (context proscribed English) to raise a question, in the phrase (term: beg the question) 5 (context legal obsolete English) To ask to be appointed guardian for, or to ask to have a guardian appointed for. Etymology 2

n. a provincial governor under the Ottoman Empire, a bey Etymology 3

abbr. (context knitting English) beginning

  1. v. call upon in supplication; entreat; "I beg you to stop!" [syn: implore, pray]

  2. make a solicitation or entreaty for something; request urgently or persistently; "Henry IV solicited the Pope for a divorce"; "My neighbor keeps soliciting money for different charities" [syn: solicit, tap]

  3. ask to obtain free; "beg money and food"

  4. [also: begging, begged]


BEG may refer to:

Usage examples of "beg".

I thanked him for doing Margarita the honour of accepting a cup of coffee from her hands, and begged him to take one with me, saying I would breakfast with him next morning.

Will you suffer me therefore to beg, unless any consideration restrains you, that you would be pleased to acquaint me what motives have induced you thus to withdraw from the society of mankind, and to betake yourself to a course of life to which it sufficiently appears you were not born?

At the second ballet at the opera an actress dressed in a tippet held out her cap to the bones as if to beg an alms, while she was dancing a pas de deux.

In my distress I sent to Baron Martin, as I was in every case in his list for the following day, and begged him to oblige me by adjourning his court.

They returned very shortly with two women in the direction of the city, saying that Peterson had refused them admittance, explaining that Chatterford had emigrated, and these more sensible women had begged transportation into London.

Meg went about from house to house, begging deadclothes, and got the body straighted in a wonderful decent manner, with a plate of earth and salt placed upon it--an admonitory type of mortality and eternal life that has ill-advisedly gone out of fashion.

But you can depend on my word that you will not know it until you have written me a very long letter begging me very humbly to indicate the place where the divine letter of the adorable object of your vows has gone.

She begged me to go into her sitting-room while she dressed, and we then went down and dined with the wretched secretary, who adored her, whom she did not love, and who must have borne small love to me, seeing how high I stood in her graces.

She begged me to console her mother and make her listen to reason, as she had not gone off with an adventurer but with a man of rank, her equal.

In parting from you, I beg to express the gratitude I have felt all my life for the affectionate fidelity which characterised your teaching and conduct toward me.

He bribed, begged, and wheedled drops of blood out of the fingers of hundreds of aguey East Indians.

She rose hastily, and after she had begged an acquaintance to tell Alette and Harald that a mere headache compelled her to leave the dance, she hurried by the wood-path back to Semb.

The intensity of our ardour will excite his own, and he will throw himself at my feet, begging and entreating me to give up to him the only object likely to calm his amorous excitement.

Anyone who tries to steal a valuable item from the Ancestress is begging for an unpleasant death, and I am now too old to attempt it without having some muscle to back me up.

The minister begged me to excuse his not answering my letter, but he had good reasons for not doing so.