Is there a single word for: something that has no beginning or without a beginning
closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, Mari-Lou A, Barmar, JMP, jimm101 Jul 5 '18 at 17:44
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- "Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered. For help writing a good word or phrase request, see: About single word requests" – FumbleFingers, Mari-Lou A, Barmar, JMP, jimm101
having no beginning
Good question. In traditional English theology, the closest concept is eternal, which also implies endlessness. Atemporal implies not existing in time at all. Ageless or timeless can literally mean having no age, but more often imply not showing the effects of time. Words such as primordial traditionally carry the implication of first-created, but in a context that implies anything is eternally ancient, it would mean that instead. I would suggest that immemorial comes closest.
Consider the term unbegotten:
not created; having no beginning; eternal
But this is a word that you're most likely to encounter only in theology. It literally means not brought into existence by the process of sexual reproduction.
Another good word from theology that I can recommend would be uncaused:
not brought into existence by any cause
In the Muslim and Christian religions as well as in Judaism, God is regarded as the uncaused cause of everything that exists. That is, God is the cause of absolutely everything, but he himself was never created which implies that he has no beginning.
Well, 'beginningless' is an obvious phrasing but, given that such a thing doesn't exist outside of thought experiments, it's worth mentioning that the standard philosophical term of art for what you're discussing is the
prime mover, n.
1. A person who instigates or originates something; spec. G-d regarded as the motive force of the universe...
It and 'first mover' are calques of the Latin phrase 'primum mobile' &c. (which is also used in English), translating Arabic al-muḥarrik al-awwal or امحرك الأوّل (which isn't), translating Aristotle's Greek τὸ πρῶτον κινῆσαν (tò prôton kinêsan).
Following Aristotlean logic, some form of self-existent, uncreated G-d was assumed to have been necessary to get the rest of creation moving in order to avoid an infinite regress of causation. As Davislor already mentioned, such a G-d was less eternal than atemporal. If there was any cause for our universe before the Big Bang, it would likewise exist outside the time known within our universe which modern physics suggests came into existence with space.
Sourceless? I would say that in the literal meaning it would imply that the object had no source, but may possibly have an end?
'Eternal' fits the bill but isn’t as poetic as ‘anadi' or 'anaadi’, Hindi for 'without beginning, without end'.
While in most situations I'd go with the already-suggested eternal, in the very specific case where your question covers the entire universe, you could fall back to the old theory, no longer accepted, of a steady-state universe.
To vastly oversimplify, under the steady-state hypothesis the universe has always existed in much the same condition it has now, with no beginning; evidence of expansion is due to matter coming into existence from random fluctuations in, more or less, nothingness.
You can read more at Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steady_State_theory
Even if you are not talking about the entire universe, a steady-state equilibrium where certain conditions are unchanging over a long period of time may be sufficient for your purposes.
a state or condition of a system or process (such as one of the energy states of an atom) that does not change in time; broadly: a condition that changes only negligibly over a specified time
You could consider unstarted and synonyms unbegun (I am sure I never said that) or uncommenced. The world of mathematics and geometry offer the torus or Möbius strip as objects which cannot be described as having a beginning.
"de novo" - often used in genomics, its roots are in Latin meaning "from nothing"
Headless - Used in IT sciences