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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Com·mence v. i. [imp. & p. p. Commenced p. pr. & vb. n. Commencing.]
 1. To have a beginning or origin; to originate; to start; to begin.
    Here the anthem doth commence.   --Shak.
    His heaven commences ere the world be past.   --Goldsmith.
 2. To begin to be, or to act as. [Archaic]
    We commence judges ourselves.   --Coleridge.
 3. To take a degree at a university. [Eng.]
    I question whether the formality of commencing was used in that age.   --Fuller.