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 The board said the citation comes with a bequest of at least $50,000 in support of Wells’ mission, with recipients to be announced. Tom Steele, Dallas News, "Dallas Morning News’ Tom Fox named Pulitzer Prize finalist for photographs of courthouse gunman," 4 May 2020 Many bequests from wealthy people who had died made possible the creation of new national universities. Daisy Alioto, The New York Review of Books, "Plagues and Pandemics: Further Reading," 27 Mar. 2020 The anti-lapse statute also does not apply to a bequest made to your spouse, a living trust, a life insurance policy designation or a financial account designation. Dallas News, "Coronavirus estate planning: Crisis planning at its finest," 16 Mar. 2020 Located on the second floor of the Medina Library , the new center has transformed the Reference Department, thanks to a $2.5 million bequest from former Medina resident Virginia Wheeler Martin. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, "Medina Library opens family history and high-tech learning center," 9 Dec. 2019 Gordon’s bequest is among the largest donations the state’s community colleges have received, officials said. The Seattle Times, oregonlive, "Former Oregonian, 105, leaves $10 million to Washington community colleges," 14 Dec. 2019 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

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

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bequest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!