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beg / beg/ • v. (begged , beg·ging ) 1. ask (someone) earnestly or humbly for something: [tr.] a leper begged Jesus for help [intr.] I must beg of you not to act impulsively. ∎  ask for (something) earnestly or humbly: he begged their forgiveness [with direct speech] “Don't leave me,” she begged. ∎  ask formally for (permission to do something): I will now beg leave to make some observations [intr.] we beg to inform you that we are instructed to wait. 2. [intr.] ask for something, typically food or money, as charity or a gift: they had to beg for food. ∎  [tr.] acquire (something) from someone in this way: a piece of bread that I begged from a farmer. ∎  live by acquiring food or money in this way. ∎  (of a dog) sit up with the front paws raised expectantly in the hope of a reward. PHRASES: beg, borrow, or steal fig. do whatever may be necessary to acquire something greatly desired: I'm gonna get the money to buy Casey's ring, even if I have to beg, borrow, or steal. beg off request to be excused from a question or obligation: asked to name her favorites from her films, Hepburn begs off. beg the question 1. (of a fact or action) raise a question or point that has not been dealt with; invite an obvious question. 2. avoid the question; evade the issue. 3. assume the truth of an argument or proposition to be proved, without arguing it. beg to differsee differ. go begging (of an article) be available for use because unwanted by others: half the apartments in New York go begging in the summer. ∎  (of an opportunity) not be taken: we let so many good chances go begging. PHRASAL VERBS: beg off withdraw from a promise or undertaking.

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beg XIII. ME. begge, prob. :- OE. bedecian (cf. Goth. bidagwa beggar), f. Gmc. *beð-, base of BID.
So beggar sb. XIII, vb. XVI; cf. -AR.

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