begin

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Related to begins: loose, won't, Webster, conferring, M-W

a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

A daunting task can usually be started by doing a simple thing. I'm feeling really overwhelmed about my research project, but I have to start somewhere, since a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

an all-out effort

An attempt made with one's full attention and/or fortitude; one's best effort. To beat the best team in the league, we need to make an all-out effort tonight, boys. As soon as I got an academic warning, I started an all-out effort to improve my grades.
See also: effort

begin by (doing something)

To start by taking a particular action (which is named after "by"). We will begin by stretching. I began by checking out all the library books I would need for my research.
See also: begin

begin to see daylight

To realize that one is approaching the end of a project or task. When I scheduled my thesis defense, I began to see daylight after two years of hard work.
See also: begin, daylight, see

begin to see the light

To start to understand something, especially something that one was previously confused about or skeptical of. Tutoring helped me begin to see the light about these physics equations. I used to wonder why people disliked Lydia, but I began to see the light after I caught her making fun of me.
See also: begin, light, see

begin with (someone or something)

To start with someone or something; to have someone or something be the first in a series. Let's begin with stretching and then we'll move on to cardio. You'll all have time to share about your summer vacations, but Caroline, we'll begin with you.
See also: begin

charity begins at home

One should help family and close friends before helping others. When are you going to get your dear sister a job at your company? Remember, charity begins at home! She seems to have forgotten that charity begins at home—she has no problem volunteering at the church but rarely visits her own mother.
See also: begin, charity, home

see the light

To understand or come to terms with something, especially something that one was previously confused about or skeptical of. Tutoring helped me see the light about these physics equations. I used to wonder why people disliked Lydia, but I started seeing the light after I overheard her making fun of me. After rejecting for years the possibility of using marijuana for medicinal purposes, the government seems to finally be seeing the light.
See also: light, see

*an all-out effort

a very good and thorough effort. (*Typically: begin ~; have ~; make ~; start ~.) We need to make an all-out effort to get this job done on time. The government began an all-out effort to reduce the federal budget.
See also: effort

begin by doing something

to start out by doing something first. We will begin by painting the house. She began by opening the door.
See also: begin

begin to see daylight

Fig. to begin to see the end of a long task. I've been working on my thesis for two years, and at last I'm beginning to see daylight. I've been so busy. Only in the last week have I begun to see daylight.
See also: begin, daylight, see

begin to see the light

Fig. to begin to understand something. (See also see the light (at the end of the tunnel).) My algebra class has been hard for me, but I'm beginning to see the light. I was totally confused, but I began to see the light after your explanation.
See also: begin, light, see

begin with someone or something

to start off a sequence with someone or something. Let's have dinner begin with a nice clear soup. I will begin with Liz and take Frank next.
See also: begin

Charity begins at home.

Prov. You should take care of family and people close to you before you worry about helping others. I don't think our church should worry so much about a foreign relief fund when there are people in need right here in our city. Charity begins at home. If you really want to make the world a better place, start by being polite to your sister. Charity begins at home.
See also: begin, charity, home

He that would the daughter win, must with the mother first begin.

Prov. If you want to marry a woman, you should find a way to impress her mother, so that the mother will favor her marrying you. Harry: I think I want to marry Gina. Bill: Don't propose to her until you're sure her mother is on your side. He that would the daughter win, must with the mother first begin.

He who begins many things, finishes but few.

Prov. If you start a lot of projects, you will not have time and energy to complete them all. (Can be used to warn someone against starting too many projects.) Sarah's room is littered with sweaters and mittens she started to knit but never finished, a testament to the fact that she who begins many things, finishes but few.
See also: begin, but, few, finish, he, many, who

He who would climb the ladder must begin at the bottom.

Prov. If you want to gain high status, you must start with low status and slowly work upwards. Although Thomas hoped to become a famous journalist, he didn't mind working for a small-town newspaper at first. "He who would climb the ladder must begin at the bottom," he said.
See also: begin, bottom, climb, he, ladder, must, who

jumping-off point

 and jumping-off place
a point or place from which to begin something. The local library is a good jumping-off point for your research. The office job in that company would be a good jumping-off place for a career in advertising.
See also: point

Life begins at forty.

Prov. By the time you are forty years old, you have enough experience and skill to do what you want to do with your life. (Often said as an encouragement to those reaching middle age.) Alan: Why are you so depressed? Jane: Tomorrow's my fortieth birthday. Alan: Cheer up! Life begins at forty. For Pete, life began at forty, because by that time he had enough financial security to enjoy himself now and then, rather than having to work all the time.
See also: begin, forty, life

see the light

Fig. to understand something clearly at last. After a lot of studying and asking many questions, I finally saw the light. I know that geometry is difficult. Keep working at it. You'll see the light pretty soon.
See also: light, see

see the light (at the end of the tunnel)

Fig. to foresee an end to one's problems after a long period of time. (See also begin to see the light.) I had been horribly ill for two months before I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I began to see the light one day in early spring. At that moment, I knew I'd get well.
See also: light, see

see the light (of day)

Fig. to come to the end of a very busy time. Finally, when the holiday season was over, we could see the light of day. We had been so busy! When business lets up for a while, we'll be able to see the light.
See also: light, see

begin to see daylight

Realize that a task is finally nearing completion, that success or the right solution is near at hand. For example, I've been working on this experiment for two years and I'm finally beginning to see daylight . The noun daylight has been a metaphor for knowledge and solution since the late 1600s. Also see light at the end of the tunnel; see the light.
See also: begin, daylight, see

charity begins at home

Be generous to your family before helping others. For example, She spends hours and hours on volunteer work and neglects the children, forgetting that charity begins at home . This proverb was first recorded in English, in slightly different form, in John Wycliffe's Of Prelates (c. 1380); "Charity should begin at himself."
See also: begin, charity, home

see the light

Also, begin to see the light. Understand or begin to understand something; also, see the merit of another's explanation or decision. For example, Dean had been trying to explain that tax deduction for fifteen minutes when I finally saw the light , or Pat was furious she and her friends were not allowed to go hiking on their own in the mountains, but she began to see the light when a group got lost up there . This term, dating from the late 1600s, originally referred to religious conversion, the light meaning "true religion." By the early 1800s it was used more broadly for any kind of understanding. Also see light at the end of a tunnel; see the light of day.
See also: light, see

to start with

Also, to begin with. In the first place, initially, as in We'll notify him by e-mail to start with, or To begin with, they haven't paid their taxes in years. The first term dates from the second half of the 1800s, the variant from the mid-1500s. Also see for openers.
See also: start

charity begins at home

or

charity starts at home

If you say charity begins at home or charity starts at home, you mean that you should deal with the needs of people close to you before you start to help others who are far away. Charity begins at home. There are many tasks right on campus that need volunteers as well. There are other cases in other countries but I think that charity should start at home.
See also: begin, charity, home

see the light

COMMON
1. If someone sees the light, they realize or understand something, often something that makes them change wrong or unpleasant behaviour or opinions. Eventually he had seen the light and broken off the relationship.
2. If someone sees the light, they start believing in a religion. Pray for them that they may see the light.
See also: light, see

when the band begins to play

when matters become serious.
See also: band, begin, play

charity begins at home

a person's first responsibility is for the needs of their own family and friends. proverb
See also: begin, charity, home

see the light

1 understand or realize something after prolonged thought or doubt. 2 undergo religious conversion.
See also: light, see

to beˈgin with


1 at first: I found it tiring to begin with but I soon got used to it.We’ll go slowly to begin with.
2 used to introduce the first point you want to make: ‘What was it you didn’t like?’ ‘Well, to begin with, our room was far too small.’
See also: begin

ˌcharity begins at ˈhome

(saying) people should look after their own family before they think about others
See also: begin, charity, home

see the ˈlight


1 understand or accept something after you have spent a lot of time thinking about it: I think he’s finally seen the light and is going to retire while he’s still able to enjoy himself.
2 change what you believe as a result of a religious experience: She was an atheist but now she says she’s seen the light.
See also: light, see

to start with

1. At the beginning; initially.
2. In any case.
See also: start
References in classic literature ?
The guests form a great ring, locking hands, and, when the music starts up, begin to move around in a circle.
Once every ten minutes or so they would fail to begin again, but instead would sink back exhausted; a circumstance which invariably brought on a painful and terrifying scene, that made the fat policeman stir uneasily in his sleeping place behind the door.
He would begin to serve your guests out of a keg that was half full, and finish with one that was half empty, and then you would be charged for two kegs of beer.
The story of Bruce Wayne is, of course, an orphan story; the saga begins with the young boy watching helplessly as a petty criminal murders his saintly father and mother in a botched hold-up attempt.
195 to amortize these costs over 60 months--beginning with the month in which an active business begins.
The surgical schedules for December 2003 are positive and we expect that the Company will continue to grow in fiscal 2004, as new physicians in our Houston facilities begin to schedule cases, as Baton Rouge continues to grow and as Garland begins to contribute.
Los Angeles has the reputation of being business-unfriendly and this begins to turn that around.
1362-1(c)(3) states that the time for making the S election for a newly formed corporation begins on the date the corporation has shareholders, acquires assets or begins doing business, whichever occurs first.
Bale has displayed a penchant for playing increasingly troubled characters, an interest that could culminate next summer in ``Batman Begins,'' which he says sticks closer to the comic book hero's darker aspects than have the previous films and TV shows.
The first stage begins July 19th, when TACA PERU will initiate its operations from Lima to Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Caracas, Quito, and Guayaquil, Panama, San Jose, Mexico, as well as domestic operations in Peru.
The head remains calm and the weight kept back until the swing begins or the baseball reaches the release point.
The chronicle presented in Maggie and Kate: A Friendship Begins recounts the story of two little girls: Maggie and Kate as they begin Kindergarten.