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See also: commencé



From Middle English *comencen, *cumensen, attested in the noun comencement, and in its contracted forms comsen, cumsen, from Old French comencer, cumencer, comencier, from Vulgar Latin *cominitiō, *cominitiāre, formed on Latin com- + initiō.



commence (third-person singular simple present commences, present participle commencing, simple past and past participle commenced)

  1. (intransitive) To begin, start.
    • William Shakespeare
      Here the anthem doth commence.
    • Oliver Goldsmith
      His heaven commences ere the world be past.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 4, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Then he commenced to talk, really talk. and inside of two flaps of a herring's fin he had me mesmerized, like Eben Holt's boy at the town hall show. He talked about the ills of humanity, and the glories of health and Nature and service and land knows what all.
  2. (transitive) To begin to be, or to act as.
  3. (Britain, intransitive, dated) To take a degree at a university.
    • Fuller
      I question whether the formality of commencing was used in that age.


Related terms[edit]





  1. first-person singular present indicative of commencer
  2. third-person singular present indicative of commencer
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of commencer
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of commencer
  5. second-person singular imperative of commencer