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See also: bėgo and begö



From Middle English begon, from Old English begān (to go over, traverse, get to, come by, fall into, go to, visit, care for, cultivate, inhabit, occupy, surround, beset, overrun, practice, do, engage in, perform, attend to, be diligent about, honor, serve, worship, profess), from Proto-Germanic *bi + *gāną, corresponding to be- +‎ go. Cognate with Dutch begaan, German begehen, Danish begå.


bego (third-person singular simple present begoes, present participle begoing, simple past bewent, past participle begone)

  1. (archaic) To go about; encompass; surround; beset, surround with hostile intent; to overrun.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book V:
      Thy prysemen ar sore begone and put undir, for they ar oversette with Sarazens mo than fyve hondred.
    • 1892, Albany Law Journal - Volumes 44-45 - Page 166:
      False love, I bego, I bego. Ere something still worse come down.
    • 1902, Carolyn Wells, Abeniki Caldwell: A Burlesque Historical Novel - Page 178:
      He bewent speedily, and as he vanished I heard him again calling, " Not she, not she ! Ha, ha ! "
    • 2013, Ambrose Bierce, Delphi Complete Works of Ambrose Bierce:
      They bewent, asmirking, And I, awakening, fell straight aworking.
  2. (obsolete) To clothe, dress.
  3. (obsolete except in set phrases) To affect, usually as a good or bad influence, or as a circumstance.
    He was woe begone.


bego (plural begoes)

  1. That which besets, surrounds, compasses, or affects; situation; circumstance.
    • 2011, Loretto Gubernatis, Dimitrius and the Gladiolas:
      “As I was passing by a vineyard on the Earth where some of mankind were taking their lunch, I heard them complaining and grumbling about these things they called 'ants'. Oh the woes and begoes of mankind,” smiled the good lord.

Related terms[edit]





  1. moron