be·​sot bi-ˈsät How to pronounce besot (audio)
besotted; besotting

transitive verb

: infatuate sense 2
was besotted by her purely carnal attractionsTimes Literary Supplement
: to make dull or stupid
… was not so besotted as to take his … word for it …A. M. Young
especially : to muddle with drunkenness
all ready besotted with drink

Did you know?

Besot developed from a combination of the prefix be- ("to cause to be") and sot, a now-archaic verb meaning "to cause to appear foolish or stupid." Sot in turn comes from the Middle English noun sott, meaning "fool." Early print evidence of besot is found in a poem by George Turberville, published in 1567. In the poem, the narrator describes how he gazed at a beautiful stranger "till use of sense was fled." He then proceeds to compare himself to Aegisthus of Greek legend, the lover of Clytemnestra while Agamemnon was away at war, writing: "What forced the Fool to love / his beastly idle life / Was cause that he besotted was / of Agamemnon's Wife."

Word History


be- + sot (to stultify)

First Known Use

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of besot was in 1567


Dictionary Entries Near besot

Cite this Entry

“Besot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

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