Definition of to begin with in US English:

to begin with


  • 1At first.

    • ‘To begin with I always rested.’
    • ‘He wasn't interested in that to begin with, he just thought the job of a winger was to get crosses into the box and create goals for others.’
    • ‘There were a few teething problems to begin with (I thought keyboards were standard, for instance), but I’m really beginning to love it.’
    • ‘That wasn't her intention to begin with.’
    • ‘The first night was very strange because I felt stupid to begin with.’
    • ‘To begin with, she wanted to break through the stereotype of the cheesy, overdressed magician.’
    • ‘I had no roadmaps, and I had a bad sense of direction to begin with.’
    • ‘Classes for secondary school pupils were held in the convent to begin with.’
    at first, at the start, at the outset, at the beginning, in the beginning, to begin with, to start with, originally, in the early stages, in the first instance
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    1. 1.1 In the first place.
      ‘such a fate is unlikely to befall him: to begin with, his is a genuine talent’
      • ‘And although it was never really mine to begin with, a very small part of me still can't help but morn its loss.’
      • ‘I really want to ask the press why the law and government policy is necessary to begin with if we do not observe or apply it.’
      • ‘They're not larger than life characters to begin with, and so when you meet them, it's a bit like seeing someone at a party.’
      • ‘He was in the wrong for trying to push me out of the way to begin with.’
      • ‘To be successful in the field, you need the most basic skills to begin with.’
      • ‘We help people to change the habits that have created the problems for them to begin with.’
      • ‘This is the type of type diplomacy which put these countries on the outside to begin with.’
      • ‘The movie I believe had a lot of potential, a good story line to begin with and some good visual effects.’
      • ‘Well, any discussion of this would have to begin with how stupid and dumb they are.’