Word of the Day : January 6, 2014


noun bih-HEST


1 : an authoritative order : command

2 : an urgent prompting

Did You Know?

Today's word first appeared in 12th century Old English as "behλst," which is formed from the prefix "be-" and the Old English verb "hātan" ("to command" or "to promise"). While "behest" was originally used only in the sense of "promise," it acquired the additional sense of "command" among speakers of Middle English. Among contemporary English speakers, "behest" is no longer used in the sense of "promise" but rather denotes an authoritative or urgent request or command. Old English "hātan" also gave English the now-archaic words "hest" (meaning "command") and "hight" ("being called or named").


At the manager's behest, several of us stayed to work late so that we could finish the project ahead of the deadline.

"They say the constitutional separation of powers blocks the panel-created at the governor's behest-from policing the legislative branch." - From an editorial in The New York Post, November 29, 2013

Test Your Memory

What former Word of the Day can refer to the metal sleeve that binds an eraser to a pencil? The answer is …


play wotd time behest

'Behest' — Video Word of the Day 1/9/2019

noun - a command or an urgent prompting


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