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

transitive verb

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

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 post-electoral remarks bespoke a magnanimity and forward-looking resolve atypical of politicians. Armstrong Williams, Baltimore Sun, 15 May 2024 The image bespeaks a cultured people resisting barbarism as much as the old photo of the imperturbably English book browsers in a roofless building. Claudia Roth Pierpont, The New Yorker, 19 Feb. 2024 While that commitment bespeaks admirable care and sensitivity, it’s also clearly designed to offset the apparent optical setback of having a white filmmaker, even a white filmmaker as justly revered as Scorsese, tell an epic tale of Native American displacement and destruction. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 19 Oct. 2023 The singer proudly appeared on stage in a head-to-toe cherry red outfit—an Alaïa coat over a Loewe jumpsuit, both pieces bespoke—which accentuated her pregnant belly. Hanna Lustig, Glamour, 8 Sep. 2023 Both the shapes and the textures of the surrounding upholstery bespeak high fashion. Patrick Bedard, Car and Driver, 4 July 2023 The lavish sensuous details bespeak Goldberg’s love for his native land, which is as profound as his contempt for its corrupt political system. Wendy Smith, Washington Post, 6 June 2023 Eve was willing to wait (fairly) patiently for the beautifully tactile Pierre Frey fabrics that cover dining chairs, bar stools, sofas, and daybeds — even bespoke high chairs — made with curvy bamboo and cane. Kathryn Romeyn, Travel + Leisure, 10 June 2023 With an artist’s approach to material and composition, Draga & Aurel cleverly reinvents bespoke vintage design pieces, earning recognition from the design world. Damon Johnstun, oregonlive, 2 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bespeak.' 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

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bespeak was in 1533

Dictionary Entries Near bespeak

Cite this Entry

“Bespeak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


be·​speak bi-ˈspēk How to pronounce bespeak (audio)
bespoke -ˈspōk How to pronounce bespeak (audio) ; bespoken -ˈspō-kən How to pronounce bespeak (audio) ; bespeaking
: to ask or arrange for in advance
: to make plain : show
her performance bespeaks much practice

More from Merriam-Webster on bespeak

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