To beg the question
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:

  • To beg the question — Question Ques tion, n. [F., fr. L. quaestio, fr. quaerere, quaesitum, to seek for, ask, inquire. See {Quest}, n.] 1. The act of asking; interrogation; inquiry; as, to examine by question and answer. [1913 Webster] 2. Discussion; debate; hence,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • beg the question — In philosophy to beg the question is to assume something to be true that has not yet been proved. I have seen the idiom also to mean that a question is crying out to be asked …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • beg the question —    In philosophy to beg the question is to assume something to be true that has not yet been proved. I have seen the idiom also to mean that a question is crying out to be asked.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • beg the question — means, strictly speaking, to question an unproved assumption that is used as the basis for an argument. For example, to ask ‘why do you listen to that rubbish?’ begs the question when the quality of the music is the point at issue. In general use …   Modern English usage

  • beg the question — 1. To avoid giving an answer 2. To assume that the thing to be proved is already true in one of the premises, or in part of the proof (logic) 3. To raise an issue for debate (non standard) • • • Main Entry: ↑beg …   Useful english dictionary

  • beg the question — idi a) to assume the truth of the very point raised in a question b) to evade the issue c) to raise the question; inspire one to ask …   From formal English to slang

  • beg the question — verb a) To engage in the logical fallacy of begging the question (petitio principii). The objection is that the argument begs the question, meaning that the premise, that God has all the virtues, assumes the conclusion, that God is benevolent. b) …   Wiktionary

  • beg the question — 1) to make you want to know the answer to a particular question If she got caught stealing money and she s still here, it begs the question: What would she have to do to get fired? 2) formal to discuss a problem, issue, or fact as if it… …   English dictionary

  • beg the question — 1. if a statement or situation begs the question, it causes you to ask a particular question. It s all very well talking about extra staff but it rather begs the question of how we re going to pay for them. 2. if something that someone says begs… …   New idioms dictionary

  • beg the question — phrasal 1. to pass over or ignore a question by assuming it to be established or settled 2. to elicit a question logically as a reaction or response < the quarterback s injury begs the question of who will start in his place > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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