- 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 bequeathing
To his successors on the right, he did not succeed in bequeathing his modesty or calm.The Last Revolutionary
July 2, 2012
In 1711 he died, bequeathing a large sum of money to the poor.A History of French Literature
McCann left a hand-written will bequeathing all his possessions to Karpin.The Risk Profession
Donald Edwin Westlake
The notion of a bequeathing and inheriting of views is exaggerated.Talleyrand
He made a will bequeathing his property to Paine, and stabbed himself.The Life Of Thomas Paine, Vol. II. (of II)
Moncure Daniel Conway
He conceived the idea of bequeathing his property to the state.Forty Thousand Miles Over Land and Water
Lady (Ethel Gwendoline [Moffatt]) Vincent
- 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 bequeathing
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.