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 Few novelists bestow exclamation marks with such aplomb. Karen Heller, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2022 On September 25, the first lunation of fall will bestow its gifts upon us, bringing in a major amount of romantic, transformative, and fortune-filled energy. Elizabeth Gulino,, 22 Sep. 2022 The act would also bestow $30 billion to the nuclear industry by providing tax credits to the owners of existing reactors - not to incentivize them to do something but to just stop them from closing down, as many have threatened to do. Steven Mufson, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Aug. 2022 What's at the heart of their argument, obviously, is Rhaenyra's lingering fear that Viserys will revoke her status as heir and bestow it on Aegon. Randall Colburn,, 5 Sep. 2022 For years the skillet lived on the top-right burner of our stove, getting the level of care and attention most people bestow on a pet. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, 27 July 2022 The band’s relentless blankness invites devotees, known as Directioners, to bestow on it a surfeit of meaning. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 28 June 2022 That means the former president, who continues to bestow blessings, is almost certainly continuing to collect more money. Zach Everson, Forbes, 24 June 2022 The opportunity to bestow such praise on a teammate represented a marked change for Ohtani and the team that employs him, writes columnist Dylan Hernández. Amy Hubbard, Los Angeles Times, 29 Apr. 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

27 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bestow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 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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