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

This award is the highest form of recognition that a local Boy Scout council can bestow on a volunteer. Courtney Mcgee,, "Two students, two scoutmasters honored," 23 May 2018 Prince William sported golden braids — an aiguillette — on the right side of his uniform because he was bestowed as an Aide-de-Camp to the Queen in 2013, according to Kensington Palace. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Everything to Know About Prince Harry and Prince William's Matching Royal Wedding Outfits," 19 May 2018 Last week, Kaepernick was given Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience award, the highest honor the organization can bestow, and appears as committed as ever to his social works. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Colin Kaepernick still has a chance with Seattle Seahawks, says coach Pete Carroll," 24 Apr. 2018 There will also be another addition to the Dome area soon as it’s been officially named a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark — the highest honor the state can bestow on a historic structure. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Houstonians flock to the Astrodome for one last look inside before renovations begin," 9 Apr. 2018 Efficiency is key Size can bestow competitive advantages, such as economies of scale for administrative tasks, negotiating contracts with health insurers and drawing on the advances in information technology, such as analytics. Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "ProHealth Care determined to remain independent amid consolidation trend in health care," 30 Mar. 2018 The Medal of Honor is for valor in action against an enemy force and is the highest award that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the armed services of the United States. David Humphrey, star-telegram, "Super Bowl LII is coming ... do you know all the angles, facts and figures?," 26 Jan. 2018 Speakman was promoted to sergeant and awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a British soldier. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "How One Soldier Used Beer to Fight Off 6,000 Enemy Troops," 24 Feb. 2017 That’s handy for the Pulitzer board, which has its own history of exclusion and bestowed only posthumous recognition on jazz legends like Duke Ellington and John Coltrane. Chris Martins, Los Angeles Magazine, "Why L.A. Can Be Proud of Kendrick Lamar’s Pulitzer Prize," 18 Apr. 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

18 Nov 2018

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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

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a private place of worship

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