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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for bespeak


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Meghan wore a Smythe grey coat and (shop a similar style here) and bespoke Emilia Wickstead black two-piece crepe skirt suit (get a similar look here and here) for the somber occasion. Erin Hill,, "Why Everyone in the Royal Family Is Wearing a Red Poppy Pin This Week," 7 Nov. 2019 Opting for a monochromatic look, Meghan wore a dark red sweater from Joseph and bespoke red heels by Sarah Flint for a roundtable discussion with young leaders. Monique Jessen,, "Meghan Markle Just Had a Royal Twinning Moment with Spain's Queen Letizia in Red Leather!," 25 Oct. 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of bespeak

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bespeak

Time Traveler for bespeak

Time Traveler

The first known use of bespeak was in 1533

See more words from the same year

Statistics for bespeak

Last Updated

24 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Bespeak.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on bespeak

What made you want to look up bespeak? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


experienced by way of someone else

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!