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 These declarations typically also bestow a host of other powers on parish presidents, including suspending laws, commandeering private property other than guns, compelling evacuation and forbidding the sale of alcohol. Faimon Roberts,, "St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper urges preparation ahead of Zeta; schools closed," 27 Oct. 2020 The Major League Baseball Players Association will bestow an annual award beginning this year in honor of Curt Flood, the former All-Star center fielder who was raised in Oakland and played a key role in the establishment of free agency. Matt Kawahara,, "Baseball players’ union will bestow annual award in honor of Curt Flood," 19 Oct. 2020 Selznick wanted to bestow his young film star with a new name. Devin Kelly, Los Angeles Times, "Golden Age actress and singer Rhonda Fleming has died at 97," 17 Oct. 2020 When a subject incurred the king’s displeasure, the angry monarch would bestow as a gift one of his white elephants. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "I bet you’ll pass this colorful quiz with flying colors," 3 Oct. 2020 Many of them charge annual fees of less than $100 a year, and some even bestow status that usually requires travelers to stay 30 or 40 nights per year to achieve. Eric Rosen, Condé Nast Traveler, "These 7 Hotel Credit Cards Give You Elite Status Just for Signing Up," 28 Sep. 2020 The same executive function skills that create academic success seem to bestow critical coping strategies. Vanessa Lobue, The Conversation, "Stressful times are an opportunity to teach children resilience," 28 Sep. 2020 Hugs should not be some sort of benefit that the arrogant can bestow on the unwilling, but a matter of mutual consent, if not mutual affection. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Pandemic makes it easier to enforce personal boundaries," 14 Sep. 2020 The Oscars can bestow a mighty significance, and their imprimatur has long influenced the films that are greenlit and the filmmakers trusted to tell stories. Kyle Buchanan, New York Times, "The Oscars’ New Diversity Rules Are Sweeping but Safe," 9 Sep. 2020

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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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

1 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bestow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Nov. 2020.

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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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