be·​spoke | \ bi-ˈspōk How to pronounce bespoke (audio) , bē- \
variants: or less commonly bespoken \ bi-​ˈspō-​kən How to pronounce bespoke (audio) , bē-​ \

Definition of bespoke

1a : custom-made a bespoke suit
b : dealing in or producing custom-made articles a bespoke tailor
2 dialect : engaged

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In the English language of yore, the verb bespeak had various meanings, including "to speak," "to accuse," and "to complain." In the 16th century, bespeak acquired another meaning - "to order or arrange in advance." It is from that sense that we get the adjective bespoke, referring to clothes and other things that are ordered before they are made. You are most likely to encounter this adjective in British contexts, such as the recent Reuters news story about a young pig in Northern England who was fitted with "bespoke miniature footwear" (custom-made Wellington boots) to help it overcome a phobia of mud.

Examples of bespoke in a Sentence

a wealthy man who can easily afford bespoke suits
Recent Examples on the Web Frederick Chin, who serves as Chief Executive Officer for Viewpoint Collection, explains that high-end real estate in today's market requires a very bespoke approach. Neal Leitereg, Forbes, 22 May 2021 But some of our projects are directly very bespoke. Christopher Marquis, Forbes, 18 May 2021 Artemis is a brilliant little dude who's big on bespoke black suits but not authority. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 12 June 2020 Then, stop in Flagstaff to refuel at Macy’s European Coffee House, where bespoke coffee concoctions and healthy breakfast fare are served all day long. Macy Sirmans, Travel + Leisure, 19 May 2020 Every week means a fresh, multicourse, multi-choice menu and the possibility of flowers, fresh-baked bread (maybe crackling sesame flax loaf) and other bespoke touches. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 8 May 2020 That is according to Katrien Van der Schueren, owner of Voila, a design studio that typically makes bespoke office furniture but now produces Plexiglas shields for customer service businesses. Chase Difeliciantonio,, 5 May 2020 There’s also an interesting movement towards smaller, more bespoke newsletters. Harry Guinness, Popular Science, 20 Apr. 2020 Princess Diana’s elegant Vacheron Constantin diamond bracelet watch was a wedding gift from her mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, who received the bespoke timepiece from the Swiss Federal Republic in 1947 as wedding gift. Jill Newman, Town & Country, 16 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bespoke.' 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 bespoke

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bespoke

past participle of bespeak

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Time Traveler for bespoke

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The first known use of bespoke was in 1607

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Last Updated

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bespoke.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for bespoke



English Language Learners Definition of bespoke

: made to fit a particular person also : producing clothes that are made to fit a particular person

More from Merriam-Webster on bespoke

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bespoke

Nglish: Translation of bespoke for Spanish Speakers


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