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

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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 That bespeaks more than a freshman’s naive enthusiasm. The Economist, "The labours of Doug Jones," 3 Oct. 2019 The other council member is Fern, who is white and portrayed by Becca A. Lewis with a tremulous air that bespeaks the insecurity of a woman who lacks the economic means of other parents. Don Aucoin,, "A school teetering on the brink in ‘Greater Good’," 22 July 2019 This action by the prosecutor bespeaks the desperation that has engulfed their case. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, "Harvey Weinstein faces new legal battle over ‘Soprano’ actress’ assault allegations," 22 Aug. 2019 At the same time, however, Biden’s nostalgia for his pragmatic former alliances with segregationist lawmakers bespeaks a foreshortened moral compass, one prone to equate bigotry with collegial rascalry. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, The New Republic, "The Destructive Politics of White Amnesia," 6 Aug. 2019 Beginning this Spring, guests at the Fife Arms will be offered a chance to work with designer Araminta Campbell on designing (and officially registering) their own custom bespoke tartan. Jaimie Potters, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Newly-Opened Art Hotel Is Your Fast Pass to Vacationing Like a Royal," 15 July 2019 Suede slippers from Paris, bespoke facials to erase any and all signs of sleepless nights, and a keepsake bracelet that a mini-me (perhaps that’s you!) will one day inherit. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "6 Impossibly Chic Fashion Moms Share Their Dream Mother’s Day Gifts," 9 May 2019 Video of Pereira repeatedly whipping his horse immediately prior to its breakdown is an image that bespeaks animal abuse and defies corporate spin. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Horse racing should make whip violations more painful for jockeys," 10 June 2019 But there is that hum in the universe of earlier American social thought that bespeaks another kind of meaning than Progressive history seems ready to admit. Marilynne Robinson, Harper's magazine, "Is Poverty Necessary?," 10 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of bespeak

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for bespeak

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for bespeak

The first known use of bespeak was in 1533

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More Definitions for bespeak


How to pronounce bespeak (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bespeak

formal : to be evidence of (something) : to be a sign of (something)

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