From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishto begin withto begin witha) spoken used to introduce the first and most important point you want to make Well, to begin with, he shouldn’t even have been driving my car. b) NOWused to say that something was already in a particular condition before something else happened I didn’t break it! It was like that to begin with. c) FIRSTduring the first part of a process or activity The kids helped me to begin with, but they soon got bored. → begin
Examples from the Corpusto begin with• It might be on sale, but it was way overpriced to begin with.• You don't need a complex system for that - just time and some simple logic to begin with.• Your first effort may well look like a rag doll, but this is quite adequate to begin with.• If the bonds were ours to begin with..• It was totally unnecessary, to begin with.• They were Hale and Pace to begin with.• But there is too little water to begin with, and water in rivers is phenomenally-expensive to move.• To begin with, much of this new housing is not affordable.• To keep from going into debt to begin with, set a budget and stick to it.• The trick is to begin with the empty set, which has no members.• Hopefully, the test items gave you some ideas about where to begin with your positive plot.