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. [1913 Webster]

I do beg your good will in this case. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

[Joseph] begged the body of Jesus. --Matt. xxvii. 58. [1913 Webster]

Note: Sometimes implying deferential and respectful, rather than earnest, asking; as, I beg your pardon; I beg leave to disagree with you. [1913 Webster]

2. To ask for as a charity, esp. to ask for habitually or from house to house. [1913 Webster]

Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. --Ps. xxxvii. 25. [1913 Webster]

3. To make petition to; to entreat; as, to beg a person to grant a favor. [1913 Webster]

4. To take for granted; to assume without proof. [1913 Webster]

5. (Old Law) To ask to be appointed guardiln for, or to aso to havo a guardian appointed for. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

{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. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • begged — beg v. request, plead; ask for charity …   English contemporary dictionary

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