Synonym Chooser

How does the verb bestow contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of bestow are afford, confer, donate, give, and present. While all these words mean "to convey to another as a possession," bestow implies the conveying of something as a gift and may suggest condescension on the part of the giver.

bestow unwanted advice

When would afford be a good substitute for bestow?

In some situations, the words afford and bestow are roughly equivalent. However, 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

When is confer a more appropriate choice than bestow?

While in some cases nearly identical to bestow, confer implies a gracious giving (as of a favor or honor).

confer an honorary degree

In what contexts can donate take the place of bestow?

The meanings of donate and bestow largely overlap; however, donate is likely to imply a publicized giving (as to charity).

donate a piano to the orphanage

When is it sensible to use give instead of bestow?

While the synonyms give and bestow are close in meaning, 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

When might present be a better fit than bestow?

The synonyms present and bestow are sometimes interchangeable, but present carries a note of formality and ceremony.

present an award

Thesaurus Entries Near bestow

Cite this Entry

“Bestow.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

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