- to dispose of (personal property, especially money) by last will: She bequeathed her half of the company to her niece.
- to hand down; pass on.
- Obsolete. to commit; entrust.
Origin of bequeath
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for bequeath
And did they bequeath to the military the task of rescuing the democratic impulse stifled by a pharaoh with an Islamist face?The Criminal Folly of the Egyptian Armed Forces
August 20, 2013
Which will, in turn, mean they retire with less wealth, and bequeath less wealth to their children.Even If Racism Abates, Its Effects Don't
May 31, 2013
I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles.A Eulogy for Marie Colvin
March 14, 2012
In other words, they bequeath us a treasure which we are free to enrich with our own discoveries.The Conquest of Fear
The father was even able to bequeath his unmarried daughters by will.The Truth About Woman
C. Gasquoine Hartley
Temple women often adopt orphans, to whom they bequeath their possessions.Lotus Buds
Let parents, then, bequeath to their children not a heap of riches, but the spirit of reverence.Laws
I bequeath him to you who already have done so much for him.The Lion's Skin
- law to dispose of (property, esp personal property) by willCompare devise (def. 2)
- to hand down; pass on, as to following generations
Word Origin and History for bequeath
Old English becweðan "to say, speak to, exhort, blame," also "leave by will;" from be- + cweðan "to say," from Proto-Germanic *kwithan, from PIE *gwet- "to say, speak."
Original sense of "say, utter" died out 13c., leaving legal sense of "transfer by will." Closely related to bequest. "An old word kept alive in wills" [OED 1st ed.]. Old English bequeðere meant "interpreter, translator." Related: Bequeathed; bequeathing.