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[bih-kwest] /bɪˈkwɛst/
a disposition in a will.
a legacy:
A small bequest allowed her to live independently.
Origin of bequest
1250-1300; Middle English biqueste, biquyste, equivalent to bi- be- + quiste will, bequest, Old English -cwis(se) (with excrescent t, as in behest), noun derivative of cwethan to say; on the model of bequethen bequeath Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for bequest
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The fulness of delight in a garden is the bequest of a childhood spent in a garden.

    Old-Time Gardens Alice Morse Earle
  • The disposal of Miss Cynthia's bequest was much discussed in the village.

    The Guardian Angel Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • In a somewhat recent case in Pennsylvania, the question of revocation arose, in regard to a bequest to charity.

  • Mr. Mller records the first bequest as from a dear lad who died in the faith.

    George Muller of Bristol Arthur T. Pierson
  • It is however, likely that other members of the family (if not he, by bequest) contributed largely to the general building fund.

  • A bequest to them was disputed on the grounds that the testator was of unsound mind.

    Tommy and Co. Jerome K. Jerome
  • To Mr. Cecil Burleigh his old friend's bequest was a boon to be thankful for, and he was profoundly thankful.

  • "The lots were a bequest to me from the original owner," said Chester.

    Chester Rand Horatio Alger, Jr
British Dictionary definitions for bequest


  1. the act of bequeathing
  2. something that is bequeathed
(law) a gift of property by will, esp personal property Compare devise (sense 4), devise (sense 5)
Word Origin
C14: be- + Old English -cwiss degree; see bequeath
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bequest

c.1300, "act of bequeathing," from be- + *cwis, *cwiss "saying" (related to quoth; from Proto-Germanic *kwessiz; cf. bequeath), with excrescent -t. Meaning "that which is bequeathed" is recorded from late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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