What does bestow mean?

Definitions for bestow

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. confer, bestowverb


    "The university conferred a degree on its most famous former student, who never graduated"; "bestow an honor on someone"

  2. bestowverb

    give as a gift

  3. lend, impart, bestow, contribute, add, bringverb

    bestow a quality on

    "Her presence lends a certain cachet to the company"; "The music added a lot to the play"; "She brings a special atmosphere to our meetings"; "This adds a light note to the program"


  1. bestowverb

    To lay up in store; deposit for safe keeping; stow; place.

  2. bestowverb

    To lodge, or find quarters for; provide with accommodation.

  3. bestowverb

    To dispose of.

  4. bestowverb

    To give; confer; impart gratuitously; present something to someone as a gift or honour.

    Medals were bestowed on the winning team.

  5. bestowverb

    To give in marriage.

  6. bestowverb

    To apply; make use of; use; employ.

  7. bestowverb

    To behave or deport.

  8. Etymology: From bestowen, bistowen, equivalent to.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To BESTOWverb

    Etymology: besteden, Dutch.

    All men would willingly have yielded him praise; but his nature was such as to bestow it upon himself, before any could give it. Philip Sidney.

    All the dedicate things of the house of the Lord did they bestow upon Baalim. 2 Chron. xxiv. 7.

    Sir Julius Cæsar had, in his office, the disposition of the six clarks places; which he had bestowed to such persons as he thought fit. Edward Hyde.

    Our Saviour doth plainly witness, that there should not be as much as a cup of cold water bestowed for his sake, without reward. Richard Hooker, b. ii. § 8.

    And though he was unsatisfied in getting,
    Which was a sin; yet in bestowing, madam,
    He was most princely. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    Spain to your gift alone her Indies owes;
    For what the pow’rful takes not, he bestows. Dryden.

    You always exceed expectations: as if yours was not your own, but to bestow on wanting merit. John Dryden, Fables, Ded.

    Good rev’rend father, make my person yours;
    And tell me how you would bestow yourself. William Shakespeare.

    I could have bestowed her upon a fine gentleman, who extremely admired her. Tatler, №. 75.

    Pure oil and incense on the fire they throw,
    And fat of victims which his friends bestow. Dryden.

    The sea was not the duke of Marlborough’s element; otherwise the whole force of the war would infallibly have been bestowed there. Jonathan Swift.

    And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, for sheep, or for wine. Deut. xiv. 26.

    And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house. 2 Kings, v. 24.


  1. bestow

    Bestow generally means to give or confer something, often in a formal or ceremonious manner. It can refer to presenting a gift, an honor, or a right to someone.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Bestowverb

    to lay up in store; to deposit for safe keeping; to stow; to place; to put

  2. Bestowverb

    to use; to apply; to devote, as time or strength in some occupation

  3. Bestowverb

    to expend, as money

  4. Bestowverb

    to give or confer; to impart; -- with on or upon

  5. Bestowverb

    to give in marriage

  6. Bestowverb

    to demean; to conduct; to behave; -- followed by a reflexive pronoun

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Bestow

    be-stō′, v.t. to stow, place, or put by: to give or confer: to accommodate with quarters: to apply (with on and upon): (refl., Shak.) to acquit one's self.—ns. Bestow′al, act of bestowing: disposal; Bestow′er; Bestow′ment.

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How to pronounce bestow?

How to say bestow in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of bestow in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of bestow in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of bestow in a Sentence

  1. Joseph Sobran:

    The attempt to silence a man is the greatest honor you can bestow on him. It means that you recognize his superiority to yourself.

  2. Saint Augustine:

    You (God) have not only commanded continence, that is, from what things we are to restrain our love, but also justice, that is, on what we are to bestow our love.

  3. Pope Francis:

    And since mothers bestow life, and women keep the world [together], let us all make greater efforts to promote mothers and to protect women.

  4. Tricia Ferrara:

    Ensuring that children can regulate their emotions during stressful moments may be the single greatest legacy for mental health you can bestow upon them, the ability to remain connected and engaged during moments of disagreement or fear is by far the best buffering against aggressive tendencies.

  5. Pierre Charron:

    He who receives a benefit should never forget it he who bestow should never remember it.

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Translations for bestow

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"bestow." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/bestow>.

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    boldly resisting authority or an opposing force
    • A. defiant
    • B. butch
    • C. ambidextrous
    • D. foreordained

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