Definition of beg the question in English:

beg the question


  • 1(of a fact or action) raise a point that has not been dealt with; invite an obvious question.

    ‘some definitions of mental illness beg the question of what constitutes normal behaviour’
    • ‘But that begs the question of why that deal happened now as opposed to two years ago and what we had to give up to get it.’
    • ‘It begs the burning question - are they engagement rings?’
    • ‘They are out there being a problem well past midnight which begs the questions, do their parents know where they are and what they are doing?’
    • ‘It has proved difficult to argue for one choice over another without simply begging the question against competing positions.’
    • ‘Which begs the big question: What is the right thing?’
    • ‘But we don't really believe that, and the topic begs other questions, like: How many younger women are rocking the establishment?’
    • ‘Which begs the question: do you think they were raised by bears?’
    • ‘Saying that the consideration is what moves the transfer begs the question, really, because the question here is, what does move it?’
    • ‘It seems that every political question ultimately begs the question, ‘how do we proceed?’’
    • ‘It does beg the question about whether its findings proved embarrassing.’
    • ‘These facts beg the question: Are these AIDS awareness initiatives ineffective?’
    • ‘It also begs the questions as to who benefits from these matches, because Clare can have learned little about themselves from what was little more than a training exercise.’
    • ‘Which begs a question: Who, then, is tougher than an opponent?’
    • ‘But this obviously begs the question: who gets control of the remote?’
    • ‘In fact, it begs the question whether preserving today's national boundaries is a worthwhile goal.’
    • ‘While the new questions do not seem provocative, they do beg the question: What is the point of it all?’
    • ‘But the idea of biking around in cold weather, or bombing down a snowy mountainside, begs some obvious questions: isn't it kind of dangerous?’
    • ‘She obviously didn't have a clue - which begged the question about why she was even here and how she'd even got the job.’
    • ‘In fact, it only begs the question of whether they have evolved at all.’
    • ‘No real surprises here but it begs the question of why such obvious flaws were never caught in advance.’
  • 2Assume the truth of an argument or proposition to be proved, without arguing it.

    • ‘The argument has been criticized for begging the question: it assumes the universe is designed in order to prove that it is the work of a designer.’
    • ‘There are two people internal to her investigative staff that have recommended an independent counsel on the basis of what we know today, and to say she wouldn't do it, begs the question.’
    • ‘The problem with many of the criteria is that they either assume what they seek to prove or simply beg the question.’
    • ‘But this begs the question, for it assumes that the state and religion arose from two independent sources.’
    • ‘And an argument that begs the question clearly does not work.’
    • ‘Hasn't Hume just begged the question against them - not so much proved that they are wrong as simply assumed it?’
    • ‘This argument assumes the conclusion, and so begs the question.’
    • ‘It therefore begs the question and doesn't prove a thing about real-life biological evolution.’
    • ‘It might be argued that it begs the question to assume that exploitation can be mutually advantageous and consensual.’
    • ‘It seems to me that this begs the question as well as implicitly assuming a kind of universal agreement about human rights that I don't think is historically supported.’
    • ‘These arguments are indeed plausible, but beg the question.’
    • ‘It may be objected that this argument begs the question.’