be·​seech bi-ˈsēch How to pronounce beseech (audio)
beseeched or besought bi-ˈsȯt How to pronounce beseech (audio)
; beseeching

transitive verb

: to beg for urgently or anxiously
beseeched him to write while he was awayR. W. Hatch
: to request earnestly : implore
besought their protection

intransitive verb

: to make supplication
Choose the Right Synonym for beseech

beg, entreat, beseech, implore, supplicate, adjure, importune mean to ask urgently.

beg suggests earnestness or insistence in the asking.

they begged for help

entreat implies an effort to persuade or to overcome resistance.

entreated me to join them

beseech and implore imply a deeply felt anxiety.

I beseech you to have mercy
implored her not to leave him

supplicate suggests a posture of humility.

with bowed heads they supplicated their Lord

adjure implies advising as well as pleading.

we were adjured to tell the truth

importune suggests an annoying persistence in trying to break down resistance to a request.

importuning viewers for contributions

Examples of beseech in a Sentence

parishioners ardently beseeched the local bishop not to close their beloved church
Recent Examples on the Web Family members and international organizations are beseeching Hamas to show mercy and release the old, the young, the sick and the wounded first. Adam Sella, New York Times, 21 Oct. 2023 The Amazon, that verdant cathedral of life, beseeches us not only to listen with our ears but with our souls, allowing: • Stress Reduction: The tranquil sounds of the forest, from babbling brooks to rustling leaves, have been proven to lower stress levels and reduce anxiety. Gen Cleary, Rolling Stone, 11 Oct. 2023 The weeks-long holiday period ends Friday, and many leaders have beseeched Israelis on all sides to act with greater tolerance during the holiest stretch of the Jewish calendar. Steve Hendrix, Washington Post, 2 Oct. 2023 This buzzer-beating pressure intensified a raw pardon process unlike those in most other states, with the powerless beseeching the powerful in public, and the decision rendered in the moment. Photographs Todd Heisler, New York Times, 15 Oct. 2023 Labor and business leaders have beseeched Netanyahu to hit the brakes, so far to no avail. Steve Hendrix, Washington Post, 21 July 2023 The opposition and foreign leaders, including President Biden, have beseeched the prime minister to pause the legislation. Steve Hendrix, Washington Post, 21 July 2023 Muted, the liberals on the convention hall beseeched Barkley by wildly waving their banners. Samuel G. Freedman, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 July 2023 Williams quotes letters from veterans fruitlessly beseeching Du Bois to return their belongings. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'beseech.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English besechen, from be- + sechen to seek

First Known Use

12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of beseech was in the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near beseech

Cite this Entry

“Beseech.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


be·​seech bi-ˈsēch How to pronounce beseech (audio)
besought -ˈsȯt How to pronounce beseech (audio) or beseeched; beseeching
: to ask earnestly for

More from Merriam-Webster on beseech

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