What does behest mean?

Definitions for behest

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word behest.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. behestnoun

    an authoritative command or request


  1. behestnoun

    A command, bidding; sometimes also, an authoritative request.

  2. behestverb

    To promise; vow.

  3. Etymology: From behæs, from bi, from. Final -t by analogy with other similar words in -t. Related to behatan, beheit, behet. Compare also hest, hight.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Behestnoun

    Command; precept; mandate.

    Etymology: from be and hest; hæs, Saxon.

    Her tender youth had obediently lived under her parents behests, without framing, out of her own will, the forechoosing of any thing. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    Such joy he had their stubborn hearts to quell,
    And sturdy courage tame with dreadful awe,
    That his behest they fear’d as proud tyrant’s law. Fairy Q.

    I, messenger from everlasting Jove,
    In his great name thus his behest do tell. Edward Fairfax, b. i. st. 17.

    To visit oft those happy tribes,
    On high behests his angels to and fro
    Pass’d frequent. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. vi. l. 153.

    Reign thou in hell, thy kingdom; let me serve
    In heav’n God ever blest, and his divine
    Behests obey, worthiest to be obey’d! Paradise Lost, b. vi.


  1. behest

    Hundreds of Empire ships were employed by the Government of the United Kingdom. They were acquired from a number of sources: many were built for the government; others obtained from the United States; still others were captured or seized from enemy powers. Empire ships were mostly used during World War II by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT), which owned the ships but contracted out their management to various shipping lines; however, some ships requisitioned during the Suez Crisis were also named as Empire ships. Most Empire ships have since been lost or scrapped; however a few still remain in active service or preserved.


  1. behest

    Behest is a noun that refers to an authoritative order, command, or an earnest or strongly worded request. It is often used to describe directives from a person in a position of power or authority.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Behestnoun

    that which is willed or ordered; a command; a mandate; an injunction

  2. Behestnoun

    a vow; a promise

  3. Behestverb

    to vow

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Behest

    be-hest′, n. command: charge. [A.S. behǽs, a promise. See Hest.]

Matched Categories

Anagrams for behest »

  1. Thebes

  2. Thêbes

How to pronounce behest?

How to say behest in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of behest in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of behest in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of behest in a Sentence

  1. Rick Brennan:

    In the short term, you have the immediate threat of ISIS. But in the long term, the deeper threat is to Iraq’s ability to be free and independent of Iran, dependence on the Shia militias, who have sworn allegiance to the ayatollah, is a problem. The Popular Liberation Forces number about 70,000, including a core of 15,000 hardened fighters who most recently did battle at Tehran’s behest in Syria, where they fought Al Qaeda, ISIS and the Free Syrian Army, Rick Brennan said. Iraq may need their help now, but giving them an official role in the fight against ISIS could further entrench them as both a political and military force within Iraq, Rick Brennan said.

  2. New York mayor:

    We have never confronted in recent decades the reality of a war with a government of a large country with an international terror network at its behest, new Yorkers deserve to know that we have entered into a different reality.

  3. Ken Cook:

    There has never been a president who has actively pursued an agenda so hostile to the environment and public health at the behest of polluters than Mr. Trump, it's absurd for President Trump to claim any environmental credentials when his administration continues to drive a destructive pro-polluter agenda at the expense of the American people.

  4. Thomas Breen:

    That execution of that 9-year-old boy has to come from one singularly evil person, not from a plan. His killer did so of his own volition and for his own reason. Not at the behest or help of Corey Morgan.

  5. Jay Tabb:

    The FBI will not tolerate surveillance being conducted here in the United States at the behest of foreign nations like Iran, such activity is intimidating, particularly to individuals who exercise their constitutional rights to free speech and criticize the Iranian government. The FBI will continue to pursue such activity on U.S. soil and disrupt efforts by any individuals who take such actions on behalf of Iran.

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Translations for behest

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"behest." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 Nov. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/behest>.

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    cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of
    • A. abase
    • B. elaborate
    • C. loom
    • D. abduct

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