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 uponThe 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 Earlier this month Eater named Indigo among the 16 Best New Restaurants in America – among the many accolades bestowed on the 13-seat restaurant that offers a prix-fixe menu of dishes inspired by the African-American experience. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Acclaimed Indigo to mark 1-year anniversary with block party," 23 July 2019 For his efforts he was awarded the Ebony Shoe for the best African or African origin player in the division - an honour previously bestowed on Vincent Kompany, Romelu Lukaku and Youri Tielemans., "AFCON 2019: 6 of the Best Players You've Probably Never Heard Of," 21 June 2019 Michelin’s small army of inspectors—the grand title bestowed on the guide’s staff of professional eaters—is beholden to strict critical guidelines, intended to insure consistency across the various guides. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "The Michelin Guide’s Not Entirely Welcome Return to L.A.," 5 June 2019 What each of us needs is a self-sovereign and inalienable digital identity, one that is neither bestowed nor revocable by any central administrator and is enforceable in any context, in person and online, anywhere in the world. Don Tapscott, Quartz, "We’re living in an era of digital feudalism. Here’s how to take your data and identity back," 11 Sep. 2019 The featured running back will be senior Kevin Armstead, who was bestowed with all-league recognition after rushing for 1,097 yards in 159 carries in 10 games. Charles Rich, Glendale News-Press, "Football Preview: Experienced St. Francis looking at big picture," 26 Aug. 2019 Other posthumous awards have included a pair of new honors: In September, Franklin was bestowed the inaugural John. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Aretha Franklin: A year after death, she remains larger than life," 16 Aug. 2019 The Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel has recognized Eman as a Righteous Among the Nations, an honorific bestowed upon non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Diet Eman, the Dutch Resistance Fighter Who Helped Jews Escape the Nazis, Has Died at 99," 9 Sep. 2019 Step 1a: Lock up the right side, luring James from Miami with the sweetest free-agent contract ever bestowed upon an NFL right tackle — at least until word got out that Oakland handed Trent Brown a 4-year, $66-million deal. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Why Ja’Wuan James’ $51-million contract with the Broncos is worth every penny," 2 Sep. 2019

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

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for bestow

The first known use of bestow was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for bestow


How to pronounce bestow (audio)

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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