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[bih-shroo] /bɪˈʃru/
verb (used with object), Archaic.
to curse; invoke evil upon.
Origin of beshrew
First recorded in 1275-1325, beshrew is from the Middle English word beshrewen. See be-, shrew1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for beshrew
Historical Examples
  • And beshrew me if I would either rob thee of it, mine own good Nan, or its old walls of thy sweet presence when I shall be dead.'

  • beshrew me, Sis, but since when didst thou shift to so fair a taste for—what was it?

    Historic Boys Elbridge Streeter Brooks
  • beshrew his heart for his labour, how everything about me quivers.

  • "beshrew me, I thought the jester was a craven," growled he of the boar.

    Under the Rose Frederic Stewart Isham
  • Retire softly, I did not look for you these two hours, Lady, beshrew your hast: that way.

    The Mad Lover Francis Beaumont
  • beshrew me, but I fear thou mayest be in very truth a kind of witch!

    Maid Sally Harriet A. Cheever
  • I would you had less, Mistriss, I could wish it, beshrew my heart she moves me cruelly.

  • Thou'rt a valiant and expert gentleman, Hal; beshrew me else!

    A Gentleman Player Robert Neilson Stephens
  • beshrew me if I don't think an evil spirit has crept into you.

    Captain Ravenshaw Robert Neilson Stephens
  • The Church will never make much out of my prayers, beshrew me!

British Dictionary definitions for beshrew


(transitive) (archaic) to wish evil on; curse (used in mild oaths such as beshrew me)
Word Origin
C14: see be-, shrew
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 beshrew

early 14c., "deprave, pervert, corrupt," from be- + shrew (v.) "to curse;" see shrew. Meaning "to invoke evil upon" is from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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