From Middle English besechen, bisechen, prefixed form of Old English sēċan (“to seek or inquire about”). Cognate with Saterland Frisian besäike (“to visit”), Dutch bezoeken (“to visit, attend, see”), German besuchen (“to visit, attend, see”), Swedish besöka (“to visit, go to see”).
beseech (third-person singular simple present beseeches, present participle beseeching, simple past and past participle beseeched or besought)
- to beg or implore (a person)
- 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur Book XX, Chapter iii, leaf 401r:
- Moost noble crysten Quene I byseche yow as ye haue ben euer my specyal good lady and I at al tymes your true poure knyghte vnto my power and as I neuer fayled yow in ryghte nor in wrong sythen the fyrst day kynge Arthur made me knyghte that ye wylle praye for my soule yf that I here be slayne;
"Most noble Christian queen, I beseech you as ye have been ever my special good lady, and I at all times your true poor knight unto my power, and as I never failed you in right nor in wrong sithen the first day King Arthur made me knight, that ye will pray for my soul if that I here be slain;"
- 1748, David Hume, Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral, London, Oxford University Press, 1973, § 25:
- after what manner, I beseech you, must the mind proceed in this operation?
- 1888, Rudyard Kipling, “Watches of the Night”, in Plain Tales from the Hills, Folio, published 2005, page 61:
- She besought him, for his Soul's sake to speak the truth.
- 1919, W[illiam] Somerset Maugham, “chapter 31”, in The Moon and Sixpence, [New York, N.Y.]: Grosset & Dunlap Publishers […], →OCLC:
- Panting a little in his haste, he told her how miserable he was; he besought her to have mercy on him; he promised, if she would forgive him, to do everything she wanted.
- 2019 December 10, Yacht Club Games, Shovel Knight: King of Cards, Nintendo 3DS, level/area: Royal Pond:
- [King Knight defeats the Troupple King.] / Troupple Acolyte: 'HALT! I BESEECH THEE! PLEASE, NO MORE!'
- to request or beg for
- 1990, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, transl., The Brothers Karamazov, San Francisco, North Point Press, →ISBN, page 657:
- […] the tickets had all been given out, begged, besought long ago.
beseech (plural beseeches)
- (archaic) A request.
- 1617, pseudo-Francis Beaumont; John Fletcher; George Chapman; Ben Jonson; Philip Massinger, Rollo, Duke of Normandy, or the Bloody Brother, Act IV, Scene III:
- Good madam, hear the suit that Edith urges, With such submiss beseeches; [...]