be·​stow | \ bi-ˈstō How to pronounce bestow (audio) , bē- \
bestowed; bestowing; bestows

Definition of bestow

transitive verb

1 : to put to use : apply bestowed his spare time on study
2 : to put in a particular or appropriate place : stow bestowed in her car … by the chauffeur.— Frances Towers … the whole cargo was bestowed— R. L. Stevenson
3 : to provide with quarters : put up bestowed Clotilde in lodgings of her own.— Rayner Heppenstall
4 : to convey as a gift usually used with on or upon The university bestowed an honorary degree upon her.

Other Words from bestow

bestowal \ bi-​ˈstō-​əl How to pronounce bestow (audio) , bē-​ \ noun
bestower \ bi-​ˈstō(-​ə)r How to pronounce bestow (audio) , bē-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for bestow

give, present, donate, bestow, confer, afford mean to convey to another as a possession. give, the general term, is applicable to any passing over of anything by any means. give alms gave her a ride on a pony give my love to your mother present carries a note of formality and ceremony. present an award donate is likely to imply a publicized giving (as to charity). donate a piano to the orphanage bestow implies the conveying of something as a gift and may suggest condescension on the part of the giver. bestow unwanted advice confer implies a gracious giving (as of a favor or honor). confer an honorary degree afford implies a giving or bestowing usually as a natural or legitimate consequence of the character of the giver. the trees afford shade a development that affords us some hope

Examples of bestow in a Sentence

The university bestowed on her an honorary degree. bestowed a new car on their son for graduation
Recent Examples on the Web The University will bestow upon Henson the Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL). Okla Jones, Essence, 14 Apr. 2022 As for what exactly to bestow upon your beloved on this milestone? Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, 29 Mar. 2022 There are many examples in Celtic mythology of what are termed sovereignty goddesses -- female deities who bestow kingly powers through copulation. CNN, 17 Mar. 2022 Despite the agency’s laundry list of regulatory priorities and strained resources, Congress is poised to bestow it with a new responsibility: policing self-preferencing on the Internet. Andy Jung, National Review, 23 Feb. 2022 Senator Debbie Stabenow and Representative Mike Quigley have led the effort to bestow Congress' highest civilian award upon him. Major Garrett, CBS News, 13 Jan. 2022 In most cases, these traits bestow an aura of respect and trust and ensure that the company's ownership and employees are confident in their leader. Omar Yunes, Forbes, 14 Mar. 2022 But how many Oscars will the academy bestow on that film? Los Angeles Times, 16 Feb. 2022 The festival, organized by Miami Dade College, will bestow its Precious Gems Awards on Ramin Bahrani and Ryusuke Hamaguchi, while DP Ari Wegner and composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer will receive the Art of Light Awards. Shalini Dore, Variety, 1 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of bestow

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bestow

Middle English, from be- + stowe place — more at stow

Learn More About bestow

Time Traveler for bestow

Time Traveler

The first known use of bestow was in the 14th century

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Statistics for bestow

Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bestow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for bestow


be·​stow | \ bi-ˈstō How to pronounce bestow (audio) \
bestowed; bestowing

Kids Definition of bestow

: to give as a gift or honor bestowing an award

More from Merriam-Webster on bestow

Nglish: Translation of bestow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bestow for Arabic Speakers


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