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

According to Hello, the photo is likely one of the set of official engagement photos taken by Alexi Lubomirski in early December, three of which were bestowed upon the public. Kelly Conaboy, The Cut, "Oh My God — the Queen Is Hiding a Secret Engagement Photo of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle," 30 May 2018 Thelma Davies is an uncommon talent blessed with the strength to wield a gift her family believes was bestowed by the heavens. Aaron Carter,, "Olympic hopeful Thelma Davies is outrunning opponents, even a mysterious rash," 24 May 2018 A few weeks after the prizes were bestowed, the Flint couple were in the Bay Area again, on their way to and from an environmental conference in Carmel Valley. Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, "At SFJazz, Rosanne Cash gets to meet a real hero," 14 May 2018 Instead, the parade organizers bestowed the honor on James Shaw Jr. — the man who stopped a shooting at a local Waffle House earlier this year. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'The View' Star Joy Behar and Kid Rock's Feud Goes Further Back Than People Realize," 3 Dec. 2018 There’s so much attention being bestowed on you tonight, Sascha! Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "Jessica Seinfeld and Net-a-Porter’s Alison Loehnis Cohost Good+ Foundation’s Annual Summer Dinner in the Hamptons," 6 Aug. 2018 An honour bestowed on the imposing figure of Oliver Kahn, etching his name into the history books in the process., "World Cup Countdown: 4 Weeks to Go - Golden Ball in Safe Hands After Oliver Kahn's Historic Triumph," 27 May 2018 The main benefit bestowed by the Legislature has been a nine-month limit on court proceedings concerning environmental challenges. George Skelton,, "If Steve Ballmer can get regulatory relief to build a new Clippers arena, why not the little guys?," 25 June 2018 Since taking over Venezuela's presidency in 2013 following the death of Hugo Chavez, Maduro has sought to maintain the loyalty of the armed forces by awarding troops outsized bonuses and bestowing officers with top government posts. Christine Armario, Fox News, "Foe accused by Maduro says Venezuela military is fracturing," 15 Aug. 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

3 Jun 2019

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

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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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

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