be·​quest | \ bi-ˈkwest How to pronounce bequest (audio) , bē- \

Definition of bequest

1 : the act of giving or leaving something by will (see will entry 2 sense 1) : the act of bequeathing established at the bequest of a local philanthropist
2 : something given or left by will or transmitted from the past : something bequeathed : legacy made a bequest of his paintings to the museum

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of bequest in a Sentence

He made a bequest of his paintings to the museum. left small bequests to all of her nieces and nephews
Recent Examples on the Web At the bequest of fans, Marvel has made progress in telling more diverse stories. NBC News, "Transgender character coming to Marvel Cinematic Universe," 2 Jan. 2020 For community college students across Washington, the bequest will translate to scholarships and other support. The Seattle Times, oregonlive, "Former Oregonian, 105, leaves $10 million to Washington community colleges," 14 Dec. 2019 Admission to the Tiffany show, which focuses largely on works recently donated to the museum through a bequest from the late Cleveland industrialist Charles Maurer, a Tiffany collector, is free. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Cleveland Museum of Art extends holiday weekend hours for Michelangelo, Tiffany, atrium cocktails," 17 Nov. 2019 To manage the bequest, the library partnered with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation to provide investment and administrative services for the funds. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Shorewood residents left $5.5 million library donation in their will," 26 Nov. 2019 The University of Cincinnati has traveled far since Charles McMicken’s bequest in 1858. Max Londberg,, "Slaveowner 'pivotal' to UC's founding should be removed from college's name, group says," 22 Nov. 2019 The bequest to Harvard came from the proceeds of the plantation in Antigua and from the exploitation and sale of human beings that Royall regarded as chattel,’’ Browne wrote in his letter., "The bloody event, the authors of ‘‘On the Battlefield of Merit’’ say, is part of Harvard Law’s history too.," 7 Nov. 2019 But there are also other kinds of bequests in the ether, as the scars on Logan’s back—paid forward as emotional wounds to his children and grandchildren—made clear. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "This Is What a Happy Ending Looks Like on Succession," 14 Oct. 2019 Several months after Larry died, Shorewood Library Director Rachel Collins said she was notified of the $5.5 million bequest. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Shorewood residents left $5.5 million library donation in their will," 26 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bequest.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of bequest

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bequest

Middle English, irregular from bequethen

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bequest

Time Traveler for bequest

Time Traveler

The first known use of bequest was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for bequest

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bequest.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bequest


How to pronounce bequest (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bequest

: the property or money that you promise in your will to give to another person or organization after you die


be·​quest | \ bi-ˈkwest How to pronounce bequest (audio) \

Kids Definition of bequest

1 : the act of leaving property by means of a will
2 : something given or left by a will


be·​quest | \ bi-ˈkwest How to pronounce bequest (audio) \

Legal Definition of bequest

: an act of bequeathing also : something bequeathed : legacy
demonstrative bequest \ di-​ˈmän-​strə-​tiv-​ \
: a bequest of a particular amount of money or property to be distributed first from one source in the estate and then from other sources to the extent that the first is insufficient
general bequest
: a bequest that is to be distributed from the general assets of the estate and that is not a particular thing
specific bequest \ spə-​ˈsi-​fik-​ \
: a bequest of a particular item or part of an estate or that is payable only from a specified source in the estate and not from the general assets

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on bequest

What made you want to look up bequest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!