be·stow | \ bi-ˈstō , 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.

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Other words from bestow

bestowal \bi-ˈstō-əl, bē- \ noun
bestower \bi-ˈstō(-ə)r, 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

May the glory and honour that all ranks have bestowed on the Royal Air Force light its pathway to the future, guarding our skies and reaching for the stars. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Kicks Off Today's Royal Air Force Centenary Celebrations at Westminster Abbey," 10 July 2018 Milwaukee French Immersion marked its 40th anniversary this month with a visit from the French Consulate, which bestowed on the school an international language accreditation that brings with it a number of new resources for students and teachers. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "At this MPS school, a mission of inclusion — and immersion in the French language — is vibrant after 40 years," 12 June 2018 In homage to the original nickname bestowed by citizen scientists, MacDonald and her team have suggested a new scientific term for the phenomenon: Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement (STEVE). Katherine Kornei, Science | AAAS, "There’s a new aurora in subpolar skies. Its name is Steve," 14 Mar. 2018 The largesse bestowed on Amazon in Ohio is incredible. David Dayen, New Republic, "Amazon Is Thriving Thanks to Taxpayer Dollars," 9 Jan. 2018 Oprah thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for bestowing her with the honor. Rebecca Cohen, The Hollywood Reporter, "Golden Globes: 10 Memorable Moments From the Show," 7 Jan. 2018 In 2013, Putin awarded Tillerson the Order of Friendship, a decoration bestowed upon foreign nationals whose work has helped improve relations between Russia's government and its citizens. Prachi Gupta, Cosmopolitan, "9 Things to Know About Rex Tillerson, Trump’s Former Secretary of State," 13 Mar. 2017 The government has bestowed upon them guarantees against any losses. New York Times, "Turkey’s Economy Is So Hot That It May Face a Meltdown," 10 July 2018 The distinction, not to be confused with the team’s longstanding Honor Roll, has been bestowed on luminaries since 2011, though after the fourth round of the selections — in 2014 — the team hadn’t made any additions. Steve Svekis,, "The Dolphins prepare to unveil latest Walk of Fame members | Photos," 10 July 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for bestow

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bestow

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

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More Definitions for bestow



English Language Learners Definition of bestow

: to give (something) as a gift or honor


be·stow | \ bi-ˈstō \
bestowed; bestowing

Kids Definition of bestow

: to give as a gift or honor bestowing an award

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More from Merriam-Webster on bestow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bestow

Spanish Central: Translation of bestow

Nglish: Translation of bestow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bestow for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bestow

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


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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