Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Just out of curiosity, what is the verb form of inception? My (uneducated) guesses are incept and inceive.

share|improve this question
This link suggests incept, which is a word, whereas inceive is not. –  KitFox Aug 18 '11 at 13:01
Incept would mean to ingest something. Most people would simply use start or begin as verbs for the noun inception. –  Robusto Aug 18 '11 at 13:03
"Questions... Morphology? Longevity? Incept dates?" "Don't know, I don't know such stuff. I just do eyes." –  wfaulk Aug 18 '11 at 17:08
add comment

closed as general reference by KitFox, kiamlaluno, simchona, Jasper Loy, Thursagen Aug 19 '11 at 11:49

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1 Answer

There is none in current use! The verb with the same meaning is "to begin".

From here:

The Latin verbs concipere (http://www.merriam-webster.com/netdict/conceive) and percipere (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perceive) migrated to English. Incipere (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/inception) did not.

Very possibly, the anglo-saxon "beginnan" was found to be sufficient and no latin-based borrowing was needed.

"Incept" now primarily means "to take in; ingest". However, according to Merriam-Webster, it has an archaic meaning (now out of use) of "to begin".

share|improve this answer
Let's coin 'Inceive' here on English.stackoverflow.com. Not just a helpful site; it's groundbreaking! –  Shawn D. Aug 18 '11 at 13:07
etymonline.com/index.php?term=inception says otherwise. in+cipere :\ –  Karthick Aug 18 '11 at 13:08
Yeah, "inceive" is a pretty cool word, and it follows the relationship of "conception" to "conceive". –  Samthere Aug 18 '11 at 13:08
@Karthik Says otherwise than that? That shows that incipere became inception, as concipere become conception and percipere became perception. However, incipere didn't migrate to a verb inceive, where the others did - to conceive and perceive, respectively. –  Samthere Aug 18 '11 at 13:14
@Kathick: incept - to begin. –  Matt Эллен Aug 18 '11 at 18:25
show 1 more comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.