to beg the question


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Question \Ques"tion\, n. [F., fr. L. quaestio, fr. quaerere,
   quaesitum, to seek for, ask, inquire. See Quest, n.]
   1. The act of asking; interrogation; inquiry; as, to examine
      by question and answer.
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   2. Discussion; debate; hence, objection; dispute; doubt; as,
      the story is true beyond question; he obeyed without
      question.
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            There arose a question between some of John's
            disciples and the Jews about purifying. -- John iii.
                                                  25.
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            It is to be to question, whether it be lawful for
            Christian princes to make an invasive war simply for
            the propagation of the faith.         -- Bacon.
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   3. Examination with reference to a decisive result;
      investigation; specifically, a judicial or official
      investigation; also, examination under torture.
      --Blackstone.
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            He that was in question for the robbery. Shak.
            The Scottish privy council had power to put state
            prisoners to the question.            --Macaulay.
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   4. That which is asked; inquiry; interrogatory; query.
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            But this question asked
            Puts me in doubt. Lives there who loves his pain ?
                                                  --Milton.
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   5. Hence, a subject of investigation, examination, or debate;
      theme of inquiry; matter to be inquired into; as, a
      delicate or doubtful question.
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   6. Talk; conversation; speech; speech. [Obs.] --Shak.
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   In question, in debate; in the course of examination or
      discussion; as, the matter or point in question.

   Leading question. See under Leading.

   Out of question, unquestionably. "Out of question, 't is
      Maria's hand." --Shak.

   Out of the question. See under Out.

   Past question, beyond question; certainly; undoubtedly;
      unquestionably.

   Previous question, a question put to a parliamentary
      assembly upon the motion of a member, in order to
      ascertain whether it is the will of the body to vote at
      once, without further debate, on the subject under
      consideration.

   Note: The form of the question is: "Shall the main question
         be now put?" If the vote is in the affirmative, the
         matter before the body must be voted upon as it then
         stands, without further general debate or the
         submission of new amendments. In the House of
         Representatives of the United States, and generally in
         America, a negative decision operates to keep the
         business before the body as if the motion had not been
         made; but in the English Parliament, it operates to
         postpone consideration for the day, and until the
         subject may be again introduced. In American practice,
         the object of the motion is to hasten action, and it is
         made by a friend of the measure. In English practice,
         the object is to get rid of the subject for the time
         being, and the motion is made with a purpose of voting
         against it. --Cushing.

   To beg the question. See under Beg.

   To the question, to the point in dispute; to the real
      matter under debate.
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   Syn: Point; topic; subject.
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.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Beg \Beg\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Begged; p. pr. & vb. n.
   Begging.] [OE. beggen, perh. fr. AS. bedecian (akin to
   Goth. bedagwa beggar), biddan to ask. (Cf. Bid, v. t.); or
   cf. beghard, beguin.]
   1. To ask earnestly for; to entreat or supplicate for; to
      beseech.
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            I do beg your good will in this case. --Shak.
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            [Joseph] begged the body of Jesus.    --Matt. xxvii.
                                                  58.
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   Note: Sometimes implying deferential and respectful, rather
         than earnest, asking; as, I beg your pardon; I beg
         leave to disagree with you.
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   2. To ask for as a charity, esp. to ask for habitually or
      from house to house.
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            Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his
            seed begging bread.                   --Ps. xxxvii.
                                                  25.
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   3. To make petition to; to entreat; as, to beg a person to
      grant a favor.
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   4. To take for granted; to assume without proof.
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   5. (Old Law) To ask to be appointed guardiln for, or to aso
      to havo a guardian appointed for.
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            Else some will beg thee, in the court of wards.
                                                  --Harrington.
      [1913 Webster] Hence:

   To beg (one) for a fool, to take him for a fool.
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   I beg to, is an elliptical expression for I beg leave to;
      as, I beg to inform you.

   To beg the question, to assume that which was to be proved
      in a discussion, instead of adducing the proof or
      sustaining the point by argument.

   To go a-begging, a figurative phrase to express the absence
      of demand for something which elsewhere brings a price;
      as, grapes are so plentiful there that they go a-begging.
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   Syn: To Beg, Ask, Request.

   Usage: To ask (not in the sense of inquiring) is the generic
          term which embraces all these words. To request is
          only a polite mode of asking. To beg, in its original
          sense, was to ask with earnestness, and implied
          submission, or at least deference. At present,
          however, in polite life, beg has dropped its original
          meaning, and has taken the place of both ask and
          request, on the ground of its expressing more of
          deference and respect. Thus, we beg a person's
          acceptance of a present; we beg him to favor us with
          his company; a tradesman begs to announce the arrival
          of new goods, etc. Crabb remarks that, according to
          present usage, "we can never talk of asking a person's
          acceptance of a thing, or of asking him to do us a
          favor." This can be more truly said of usage in
          England than in America.
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