Noah Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language
1. (p. pr. & vb. n.) of Begin.
2. (n.) The act of doing that which begins anything; commencement of an action, state, or space of time; entrance into being or upon a course; the first act, effort, or state of a succession of acts or states.
3. (n.) That which begins or originates something; the first cause; origin; source.
4. (n.) That which is begun; a rudiment or element.
5. (n.) Enterprise.