be·​speak | \ bi-ˈspēk How to pronounce bespeak (audio) , bē- \
bespoke\ bi-​ˈspōk How to pronounce bespeak (audio) , bē-​ \; bespoken\ bi-​ˈspō-​kən How to pronounce bespeak (audio) , bē-​ \; bespeaking

Definition of bespeak

transitive verb

1 : to hire, engage, or claim beforehand
2 : to speak to especially with formality : address
3 : request bespeak a favor
4a : indicate, signify her performance bespeaks considerable practice
b : to show beforehand : foretell

Synonyms for bespeak


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Examples of bespeak in a Sentence

Her newest album bespeaks a great talent for writing songs. bespoke the rental car weeks in advance of their trip
Recent Examples on the Web His actions bespeak a prime-time TV blowhard who understands how objectionable his rhetoric has become. Washington Post, 6 May 2022 Hard luxuries bespeak a connection to history and tend to remain in families for generations. Rhonda K. Garelick, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2021 To several local Native American tribes, including the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, the Ventura County site’s cave drawings and rock shelters bespeak a cultural heritage dating back centuries. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 27 Oct. 2020 The UC Davis researchers, from the school’s Violence Prevention Project, found that the fears driving the surge in gun sales bespeak a nation suffering a potentially serious crisis of confidence. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 17 Oct. 2020 For a contemporary American reader, there are a few jarring moments that bespeak the author’s ignorance, or worse, of black American life (not least of which is a black character named Odysseus Cotton). Andrew Martin, Harper's Magazine, 15 Sep. 2020 His playing bespoke an investment in the entire lineage of jazz trumpet playing. Giovanni Russonello,, 2 Apr. 2020 However, the game isn't due until September 17 after a delay pushed it back from its original April release, which is likely the reason behind the timing of Nvidia’s bespoke GPU. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, 18 Feb. 2020 The many positive responses on social media bespeak considerable support for his take-no-prisoners public attitude toward gang members who exert de facto control of entire neighborhoods and towns. Los Angeles Times, 30 Apr. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of bespeak

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of bespeak was in 1533

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Cite this Entry

“Bespeak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on bespeak

Nglish: Translation of bespeak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bespeak for Arabic Speakers


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