be·​di·​zen bi-ˈdī-zᵊn How to pronounce bedizen (audio)
bedizened; bedizening; bedizens

transitive verb

: to dress or adorn gaudily
bedizenment noun

Did you know?

Bedizen doesn't have the flashy history you might expect—its roots lie in the rather quiet art of spinning thread. In times past, the spinning process began with the placement of fibers (such as flax) on an implement called a distaff; the fibers were then drawn out from the distaff and twisted into thread. Bedizen descends from the older, now obsolete, verb disen, which means "to dress a distaff with flax" and which came to English by way of Middle Dutch. The spelling of disen eventually became dizen, and its meaning expanded to cover the "dressing up" of things other than distaffs. In the mid-17th century, English speakers began using bedizen with the same meaning.

Examples of bedizen in a Sentence

an elderly actress bedizening herself with makeup and jewelry

Word History


be- + dizen

First Known Use

1661, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bedizen was in 1661


Dictionary Entries Near bedizen

Cite this Entry

“Bedizen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


be·​di·​zen bi-ˈdīz-ᵊn How to pronounce bedizen (audio)
: to dress or decorate especially with showy finery
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