English edit

Etymology edit

PIE word

The verb is derived from Middle English bestowen, bistouen, bistowen (to give, bestow; to apply (something to something else); to arrange or have control over (something); to place (someone) in a position; to use (for some purpose); (reflexive) to find (oneself) a place to live or shelter) [and other forms],[1] from bi- (prefix forming verbs, often with a completive, figurative, or intensive meaning)[2] + stouen, stowen (to pack (cargo) in a ship, stow; to place (someone) in a certain position; to provide quarters for, lodge; etc.)[3][4][5] (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *steh₂- (to place; to stand (up))). The English word is analysable as be- (intensifying prefix forming verbs) +‎ stow (to put (something) away in a suitable place; etc.).

The noun is derived from the verb.[6]

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

bestow (third-person singular simple present bestows, present participle bestowing, simple past and past participle bestowed) (transitive)

  1. To apply or make use of (someone or something); to employ, to use.
    1. (specifically, obsolete) To apply (money) for some purpose; to expend, to spend.
      Synonym: lay out
  2. To impart (something) gratuitously; to present (something) to someone or something, especially as a gift or an honour; to confer, to give.
    Medals were bestowed on the winning team.
    • 1535 October 14 (Gregorian calendar), Myles Coverdale, transl., Biblia: The Byble, [] (Coverdale Bible), [Cologne or Marburg: Eucharius Cervicornus and J. Soter?], →OCLC, II. Cronicles xxiiij:[7], folio c, recto, column 2:
      For yͤ vngodly Athalia & hir ſonnes haue waiſted the houſe of God: and all that was halowed for the houſe of the LORDE, haue they beſtowed on Baalim.
    • c. 1588–1593 (date written), [William Shakespeare], The Most Lamentable Romaine Tragedie of Titus Andronicus: [] (First Quarto), London: [] Iohn Danter, and are to be sold by Edward White & Thomas Millington, [], published 1594, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene ii]:
      Harke yee Lords, you ſee I haue giuen her Phiſicke, / And you muſt needs beſtovv her Funerall, []
    • 1614, Walter Ralegh [i.e., Walter Raleigh], “Of the Time of the Birth of Abraham: And of the Use of This Question, for the Ordering of the Storie of the Assyrian Empire”, in The Historie of the World [], London: [] William Stansby for Walter Burre, [], →OCLC, 2nd book, §. III (The Answere to One of the Obiections Proposed, Shewing that Abraham Made but One Iourney out of Mesopotamia into Canaan: And It, after His Fathers Death), page 222:
      [H]e [Moses] beſtovveth on the ſtory of Abraham fourteene chapters, beginning vvith his birth in the eleuenth, and ending vvith his death in the fiue and tvventieth; and this time endured but 175. yeares.
    • 1678, John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World, to That which is to Come: [], London: [] Nath[aniel] Ponder [], →OCLC; reprinted in The Pilgrim’s Progress (The Noel Douglas Replicas), London: Noel Douglas, [], 1928, →OCLC, page 195:
      Lord, I have heard that thou art a merciful God, and haſt ordained that thy Son Jeſus Chriſt ſhould be the Saviour of the VVorld, and moreover, that thou art vvilling to beſtovv him upon ſuch a poor ſinner as I am, []
    • 1750 August 8, Samuel Johnson, “No. [38]. Saturday, July 28. 1750 [Julian calendar].”, in The Rambler, volume II, Edinburgh: [[] Sands, Murray, and Cochran]; sold by W. Gordon, C. Wright, J. Yair, [], published 1750, →OCLC, page 94:
      I am come to offer you gifts, vvhich only your ovvn folly can make vain. You here pray for vvater, and vvater vvill I beſtovv.
    • 1818, [Mary Shelley], chapter VIII, in Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. [], volume II, London: [] [Macdonald and Son] for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, →OCLC, pages 132–133:
      Soft tears again bedewed my cheeks, and I even raised my humid eyes with thankfulness towards the blessed sun which bestowed such joy upon me.
    • 1843 December 19, Charles Dickens, “Stave I. Marley’s Ghost.”, in A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, London: Chapman & Hall, [], →OCLC, page 11:
      He stopped at the outer door to bestow the greetings of the season on the clerk, who, cold as he was, was warmer than Scrooge; for he returned them cordially.
    • 1873, Mrs. Alexander [i.e., Annie French Hector], chapter VII, in The Wooing O’t. [], volume II, London: Richard Bentley & Son, [], →OCLC, page 168:
      Sometimes I am caught by a delightful fragment in a magazine, and blaze up into the fiercest interest, bestow maledictions on the delay which the intervening month creates, but am burnt out by the time it expires, and so lose the thread.
    • 1930, Norman Lindsay, chapter 4, in Every Mother’s Son [Redheap], New York, N.Y.: Cosmopolitan Book Corporation, →OCLC, section III, page 86:
      Do they [parents] not sneakingly bestow on me their crass inability to do anything with their own misbegotten progeny, a subterfuge which I scornfully fub off on text-books?
    • 2008 September 28, Illiad [pseudonym; J. D. Frazer], “The Large Hadron Collider Game: Or ‘Why Science is Hard and Getting People to Fund It is Harder’”, in User Friendly[1] (webcomic), archived from the original on 2022-02-25:
      CERN bestows slush fund on the LHC. Take all pennies from the CERN space.
  3. (archaic)
    1. To place or put (someone or something) somewhere or in a certain situation; to dispose of.
    2. To deposit (something) for safekeeping; to lay up (something) in store; to stow.
    3. (also reflexive) To provide (someone or oneself) with accommodation; to find quarters for (someone or oneself); to lodge, to quarter.
      Synonyms: house, put up
  4. (obsolete)
    1. (reflexive) To behave or conduct (oneself); to acquit.
      • c. 1590–1591 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene i], page 29, column 1:
        Novv therefore vvould I haue thee to my Tutor / (For long agone I haue forgot to court, / Beſides the faſhion of the time is chang'd) / Hovv, and vvhich vvay I may beſtovv my ſelfe / To be regarded in her ſun-bright eye.
      • c. 1596–1599 (date written), William Shakespeare, The Second Part of Henrie the Fourth, [], quarto edition, London: [] V[alentine] S[immes] for Andrew Wise, and William Aspley, published 1600, →OCLC, [Act II, scene ii]:
        Hovv might vve ſee Falſtaffe beſtovv himſelf to night in his true colours, and not our ſelues be ſeene?
      • 1608, [Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas], “[Du Bartas His Second VVeeke, [].Abraham. [].] The Vocation. The I. Part of the III. Day of the II. Week.”, in Josuah Sylvester, transl., Du Bartas His Deuine Weekes and Workes [], 3rd edition, London: [] Humfrey Lownes [and are to be sold by Arthur Iohnson []], published 1611, →OCLC, page 401:
        He all aſſayls, and him ſo braue beſtovves, / That in his Fight he deals more deaths than blovves.
      • 1638, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], “Exercise Rectified of Body and Minde”, in The Anatomy of Melancholy. [], 5th edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed [by Robert Young, Miles Flesher, and Leonard Lichfield and William Turner] for Henry Cripps, →OCLC, partition 2, section 2, member 4, page 263:
        They knovv not [] vvhat to do, or othervviſe hovv to beſtovv themſelves: like our moderne Frenchmen, that had rather loſe a pound of bloud in a ſingle combate, then a drop of ſvveat in any honeſt labour.
    2. (also reflexive) To give (someone or oneself) in marriage.

Conjugation edit

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

Noun edit

bestow (plural bestows)

  1. (obsolete, rare) An act of presenting a thing to someone or something, especially as a gift or an honour; a bestowal.
    Synonyms: bestowing, bestowment
    • 1602, William Warner, “The Fifth Booke. Chapter XXVII.”, in Albions England. A Continued Historie of the Same Kingdome, from the Originals of the First Inhabitants thereof: [], 5th edition, London: [] Edm[und] Bollifant for George Potter, [], →OCLC, page 134:
      The Muſes bacely begge, or bibbe, or both, and muſt, for vvhy? / They finde as bad Beſtoe as is their Portage beggerly: / Yea novv by melancholie vvalkes and thred-bare coates vve geſſe / At Clyents and at Poetes: none vvorke more and profit leſſe, []

References edit

  1. ^ bistouen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ bi-, pref.(2)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  3. ^ stouen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  4. ^ bestow, v.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2023.
  5. ^ bestow, v.”, in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present, reproduced from Stuart Berg Flexner, editor in chief, Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd edition, New York, N.Y.: Random House, 1993, →ISBN.
  6. ^ bestow, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2023.

Anagrams edit