beg the question

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beg the question

1. To provoke a specific question (which typically follows this phrase). If he has a great job but is always broke, it begs the question of where the money is going?
2. To assume or believe that something is true when its veracity is unverified. My opponent in this debate has again begged the question, assuming his premise to be true without evidence.
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beg the question

 
1. to carry on a false argument where one assumes as proved the very point that is being argued, or more loosely, to evade the issue at hand. (Essentially a criticism of someone's line of argument.) Stop arguing in circles. You're begging the question. A: Why do two lines that are equidistant from one another never meet? B: Because they are parallel. A: You are begging the question.
2. to invite the (following) question. (This reinterpretation of beg the question is incorrect but is currently in widespread use.) His complaints beg the question: Didn't he cause all of his problems himself?
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beg the question

Take for granted or assume the truth of the very thing being questioned. For example, Shopping now for a dress to wear to the ceremony is really begging the question-she hasn't been invited yet . This phrase, whose roots are in Aristotle's writings on logic, came into English in the late 1500s. In the 1990s, however, people sometimes used the phrase as a synonym of "ask the question" (as in The article begs the question: "What are we afraid of?").
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beg the question

COMMON
1. If something begs the question, it makes people want to ask that question. Hopewell's success begs the question, why aren't more companies doing the same? When pushed to explain, words — for once — failed the England manager, begging the obvious question: Does he really know?
2. If someone's statement begs the question, they can only make that statement if a particular thing is true, although it may not be. His position on global warming is begging the question that humans are responsible. Note: This is a rough translation of the Latin expression `petitio principii', a technical term used in logic to describe a situation in which the truth of something is assumed before it has been proved.
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beg the question

1. To assume to be true what one is purporting to prove in an argument.
2. To call to mind a question in a discussion; invite or provoke a question.
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beg the question

To assume the question in your answer. For example, if the question is “Should marijuana use be criminalized?” to reply “Yes, because if it isn't, then lots of criminals will be roaming the streets” is to beg the question. That is, the answer assumes that pot users are criminals when that's the precise question under debate. Although the phrase is now widely heard as a synonym for raising or asking a question, its original meaning is still used by the dwindling band of educated speakers.
See also: beg, question