bestow

verb be·stow \ bi-ˈstō , bē- \

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.

bestowal

play \-ˈstō-əl\ noun

bestower

play \-ˈstō(-ə)r\ noun

Examples of bestow in a Sentence

  1. The university bestowed on her an honorary degree.

  2. bestowed a new car on their son for graduation

Recent Examples of bestow from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of bestow

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

BESTOW Defined for English Language Learners

bestow

verb

Definition of bestow for English Language Learners

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


BESTOW Defined for Kids

bestow

verb be·stow \ bi-ˈstō \

Definition of bestow for Students

bestowed; bestowing
:to give as a gift or honor
  • bestowing an award


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