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From Middle English bestyrien, bestirien, from Old English bestyrian (to heap up, pile up), equivalent to be- +‎ stir.



bestir (third-person singular simple present bestirs, present participle bestirring, simple past and past participle bestirred)

  1. (transitive) To put into brisk or vigorous action; to move with life and vigor.
    • 1986, Watchman Nee, The Life that Wins, page 75:
      Notwithstanding all the various temptations to bad temper, pride, greediness, adultery and so forth, the enemy really has but one temptation, and that is, to bestir the saints.
  2. (reflexive) To make active; to rouse oneself.
    • 1872, James De Mille, The Cryptogram[1], HTML edition, The Gutenberg Project, published 2009:
      The old man and his wife bestirred themselves to make every thing ready for the unexpected guests, ...
    • 1912, Zane Grey, Riders of the Purple Sage, Chapter 9
      When he had bestirred himself, [] it was clear daylight, though the sun had not tipped the yellow wall in the east.
    • 2009, June Jordan, Some of Us Did Not Die:
      And so I hope we can bestir ourselves not to “Rally Around Caesar,” as the recent Economist recommends. I hope we will bestir ourselves to rally around an emergency/militant reconstruction of a secular democracy consecrated to the equality of each and every living one of us.
    • 2010, Moshe Samsonowitz, Beyond What the Eye Perceives, page 42:
      Why is it so important to bestir oneself? Bestirring oneself means that one feels truly fortunate and excited to stand before one's Creator and that one longs for this moment.
    • 2017 July 9, Garrett Epps, “The Generational Significance of the Travel Ban Cases”, in The Atlantic[2], ISSN 1072-7825:
      Could these well-paid civil servants bestir themselves not only to rescue the American republic from danger but to strengthen its democratic governance, refresh its ideals, and reclaim its sadly soiled national honor?


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


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  1. (transitive, reflexive) to dress





  1. (in the plural) best, superlative of góður and væl


bestur a5
Singular (eintal) m (kallkyn) f (kvennkyn) n (hvørkikyn)
Nominative (hvørfall) bestur best best
Accusative (hvønnfall) bestan besta
Dative (hvørjumfall) bestum bestari bestum
Genitive (hvørsfall) (bests) (bestar/
Plural (fleirtal) m (kallkyn) f (kvennkyn) n (hvørkikyn)
Nominative (hvørfall) bestir bestar best
Accusative (hvønnfall) bestar
Dative (hvørjumfall) bestum
Genitive (hvørsfall) (besta/