1 : infatuate
2 : to make dull or stupid; especially : to muddle with drunkenness
Did You Know?
Besot developed from a combination of the prefix be- ("to cause to be") and sot, a now-archaic verb meaning "to cause to appear foolish or stupid." Sot in turn comes from the Middle English noun sott, meaning "fool." Early print evidence of besot is found in a poem by George Turberville, published in 1567. In the poem, the narrator describes how he gazed at a beautiful stranger "till use of sense was fled." He then proceeds to compare himself to Aegisthus of Greek legend, the lover of Clytemnestra while Agamemnon was away at war, writing: "What forced the Fool to love / his beastly idle life / Was cause that he besotted was / of Agamemnon's Wife."
"Anyone spending time watching Australian TV … must conclude that food and the cooking thereof besots our nation." — Garry Barker, The Age (Melbourne, Australia), 26 June 2014
"They debauch the spirit of the ignorant and credulous with mystical trash, as effectually as if they had besotted their brains with gin, and then pick their pockets with the same facility." — Sir Walter Scott, The Antiquary, 1816
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