be·​sot·​ted bi-ˈsä-təd How to pronounce besotted (audio)
: blindly or utterly infatuated
besotted lovers
They have a mad affair. He is besotted. But she is an expensive partner, and he needs money to keep her in style.Newgate Callendar
The husband … seems besotted with his wife and horribly jealous of the bird she's protecting.Edmund White
: intoxicated or stupefied especially with drink
… longed only to get out of the house for a lively evening with his old cronies, who were boorish, bumbling and besotted every last one of them.Dennis Drabelle
We issued into an empty street through a half-open door, staggering like besotted revellers.Joseph Conrad
besottedly adverb
She had gone back with him to his flat that first night blindly and besottedly in love with him. Anne Mulcock
besottedness noun
I was besotted with the idea and the reality of Venice, and that besottedness has never quite left me … Erica Jong

Did you know?

You may be familiar with the noun sot as a synonym of drunkard, and indeed the Old English word sott, referring to a foolish or stupid person, eventually picked up that boozy meaning centuries later (after dropping a t). The now-archaic verb sot followed a similar trajectory, its original meaning of “to cause to appear foolish or stupid” was eventually joined by “to drink excessively.” The earliest recorded usage of the related adjective besotted (in the late 16th century, from the past participle of the verb besot), however, described a state of intoxication due to amorousness rather than adult beverages; the still-current sense of besotted meaning “drunk” didn’t show up until the early 19th century. In fact, evidence of the “infatuated” sense of besotted also predates the tipple-related senses of the noun sot, verb sot, and verb besot, suggesting perhaps that love may be the strongest intoxicant of all.

Examples of besotted in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Meanwhile, Vargas’ enquiries become progressively more obfuscated by the American cop Hank Quinlan (Welles), a besotted incarnation of corruption who alternately conspires with Susie’s captors and seeks solace in the brothel of the Gypsy madame (Marlene Dietrich) who comforted him in bygone times. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 28 June 2023 The intrepid countess and Alpiew embark on a search for the killer, a quest complicated by street gangs sporting pink ribbons as well as by a sculptor with a silver nose, a grubby stalker, a tea-smuggling heiress and a besotted steward with glaring white wooden false teeth. Celia Imrie, WSJ, 14 Jan. 2022 Roomier suits then allowed for the high-octane dance carnage, which filtered down to Raju versus Bheem, with the former faking a leg cramp to, again, help his besotted friend win Jenny’s heart — and the contest. Fawnia Soo Hoo, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Dec. 2022 As an internally and eternally conflicted young man, Nicholas Querino nicely shows us the besotted aspect of his character but doesn’t always convey his inner struggle. Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel, 19 Sep. 2022 Life begins when a besotted pregnant woman wants to have and love that precious baby. WSJ, 8 July 2022 His relationship with painting was akin to that of a besotted lover with a domineering partner: The pleasure is deranging, but the cost to one’s equanimity steep. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 22 June 2022 As one of Hollywood’s most legendary heartthrobs, Depp enjoys a large and besotted fan base. New York Times, 26 May 2022 Opening April 28 at Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse, the new production, directed by Gordon Greenberg, also stars Aimee Carrero as Honey, Graham Phillips as her husband, Nick, and Calista Flockhart as George’s besotted wife, Martha. Jordan Riefe, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Apr. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of besotted was in 1580


Dictionary Entries Near besotted

Cite this Entry

“Besotted.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

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