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

Definition of beseech

transitive verb

1 : to beg for urgently or anxiously beseeched him to write while he was away— R. W. Hatch
2 : to request earnestly : implore besought their protection

intransitive verb

: to make supplication

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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 To do that Oliver beseeched the states to take a stand and ratify the ERA. Melissa Locker, Time, "John Oliver Challenges 13 States to Pass the Equal Rights Amendment on Last Week Tonight," 10 June 2019 In June, after the Trump administration broke off negotiations with CARB, 17 car companies co-signed a letters to President Trump and California Gov. Gavin Newsom beseeching them to resume talks and reach a compromise. Russ Mitchellstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Trump says automakers are ‘crazy’ to side with California. They don’t need another fight," 28 Aug. 2019 Democrats recruited McGrath Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, and other left-leaning groups had been beseeching McGrath to run since last November. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "5 things to know about Amy McGrath vs. Mitch McConnell in the 2020 Senate race," 9 July 2019 Sanders also ponders the question of why gardeners are continually beseeched by websites to use lava rocks, wormwood tea, and quackgrass cakes to repel slugs when a simple dose of iron phosphate will do the job quickly and safely. Steve Smith,, "’Gardening Is Murder’ Talk On Sept. 12," 26 Aug. 2019 For 2,000 years, Jews have spent Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, in a synagogue abstaining from food and drink, fervently praying and beseeching God to forgive their sins. Shayndi Raice, WSJ, "Goat Yoga, Mosh Pits, Glow Sticks: Younger Jews Reinvent Yom Kippur," 5 Sep. 2018 Her parents and a brother spent last week visiting the site, beseeching investigators, Red Cross workers and the carrier’s chief executive in an ultimately vain effort to retrieve any remains or belongings. ... Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "With Personal Connection to Crash, Ralph Nader Takes on Boeing," 20 Mar. 2019 Over the last year, the business people and residents in these two sections of South L.A. have pursued an increasingly testy — but so far futile — campaign of emails, phone calls and meetings beseeching the city for relief. Doug Smith,, "Encampments take root in South L.A. Here's why clearing them out is so difficult," 10 June 2018 Wild and urgent rituals to beseech the powers that were, to save us from the increasing dark. Harper's BAZAAR, "How To Cope With Holiday Loneliness," 25 Dec. 2014

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

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First Known Use of beseech

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

History and Etymology for beseech

Middle English besechen, from be- + sechen to seek

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Statistics for beseech

Last Updated

27 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for beseech

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

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More Definitions for beseech


How to pronounce beseech (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of beseech

formal + literary : to beg (someone) for something : to ask (someone) in a serious and emotional way to do something


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

Kids Definition of beseech

: to ask in a serious and emotional way We beseeched the king to let him live.

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More from Merriam-Webster on beseech

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for beseech

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with beseech

Spanish Central: Translation of beseech

Nglish: Translation of beseech for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beseech for Arabic Speakers

Comments on beseech

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


not being in agreement or harmony

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