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From Middle English benamnen, benemnen, from Old English benemnan (to name, stipulate, settle, declare, asseverate), equivalent to be- +‎ name. Compare Saterland Frisian benaame, German benennen (to name, designate), Swedish benämna (to name, call), Dutch benoemen (to appoint, nominate).


bename (third-person singular simple present benames, present participle benaming, simple past benamed, past participle benamed or benempt)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To swear on oath; to solemnly declare; promise; give.
  2. (transitive) To name; give a name (to); mention by name; nominate; denominate; call.
    • 1815, Edmund Burke, editor, The Annual Register:
      " [] the only British commander who, in the general estimation, could benamed as his rival in military fame; [] "
    • 1896, Lowell, Percival, Mars:
      Unfortunately, the planet has been quite too much benamed, — benamed, indeed, out of all recognition.
    • 1994, Sprung, Mervyn, After Truth: Explorations in Life Sense, SUNY Press, page 71:
      As though the benamed things carried the longings of humans;
    • 2006, Ascott, Roy, Engineering Nature: Art & Consciousness in the Post-Biological Era, Intellect Books:
      In other words, [] that 'names' do not 'form' benamed objects but are mere signifiers []
  3. (transitive) To name; call; style; describe as.