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

Get our daily newsletter The ability to structure our workplaces, schools, public spaces—and even media—to increase interactions with people from other walks of life may boost the respect that people bestow on others. K.n.c., The Economist, "How to increase empathy and unite society," 7 June 2019 As news spread of the May 24 filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Mets fans were furious with the New England Patriots quarterback, who wasn't born when the nickname was bestowed on the right-handed pitcher., "Tom Terrific? Tom Brady ticks off Mets fans with his trademark request," 3 June 2019 Clearly these regions are important to their residents and, of course, the royals who bestow their title. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Comparing Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton, and Princess Diana's First Visits to Their Namesake Cities," 3 Oct. 2018 Kim’s visits to Beijing displayed all the customary pomp and circumstance bestowed on his father and grandfather. Christopher Bodeen, The Seattle Times, "China’s Xi to send top ally to North Korea anniversary," 4 Sep. 2018 Carter, who is now the Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School, recalled the praise that foreign leaders would bestow on American service members, due to their professional conduct. Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN, "Ash Carter says leaders must set example of proper conduct," 11 May 2018 Two would give council the right to appoint a law director and two would bestow on Council President Nancy Fellows the title of acting mayor to engage in labor negotiations. James Ewinger,, "Judge reverses Willoughby Hills City Council, voids four ordinances," 2 Apr. 2018 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

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

17 Jun 2019

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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

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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