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.

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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 But only six have received the highest honor that Congress can bestow—to have their names on a Capitol Hill office building as an inspiration to future legislators. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "The U.S. Senate’s Oldest Office Building Honors a Racist," 26 Apr. 2021 The congressional gold medal is the highest honor Congress can bestow on an individual or institution. al, "12 Republicans vote against congressional gold medals for Capitol, DC police," 18 Mar. 2021 But now there’s an opportunity, with the benefit of hindsight, to reevaluate, redefine and bestow his due accolades. Sanya Osha, Quartz, "Is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ready for Fela Kuti?," 18 Apr. 2021 But since the government took it upon themselves to bestow the shield to John Walker (Wyatt Russell), thereby dubbing him the next Cap, Sam grappled with his decision and the complicated legacy that comes with the shield. Nick Romano,, "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," 16 Apr. 2021 Adams, who first started banging away on his drum in 1973, will bestow drumming duties and his bleacher seat for the day to Carney during an in-game video presentation . . ., "‘Crisis management’: Nats’ COVID-19 outbreak scraps Mets series," 3 Apr. 2021 If investors decide to bestow the kind of valuations usually accorded in a super-low rate environment, the shift would supercharge U.K. returns. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "U.K. stocks are the ‘trade of the 2020s’ says markets sage Rob Arnott," 26 Mar. 2021 With years of product design experience under her belt, the former Facebook VP wants to bestow her wisdom and knowledge to others in the industry. Tai Tran, Forbes, "How Marketing Can Work In Tandem With Design To Create Magic," 10 Mar. 2021 Attention is the early reward that listeners bestow on the storyteller. Steve Denning, Forbes, "How To Change (Almost) Anyone’s Mind," 28 Feb. 2021

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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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 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bestow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for bestow



English Language Learners Definition of bestow

formal : to give (something) as a gift or honor


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

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