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bespoken

[bih-spohkuh n]
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verb
  1. a past participle of bespeak.
adjective
  1. bespoke.

Origin of bespoken

1600–10 for def 2
Related formsun·be·spo·ken, adjectivewell-be·spo·ken, adjective

bespeak

[bih-speek]
verb (used with object), be·spoke or (Archaic) be·spake; be·spo·ken or be·spoke; be·speak·ing.
  1. to ask for in advance: to bespeak the reader's patience.
  2. to reserve beforehand; engage in advance; make arrangements for: to bespeak a seat in a theater.
  3. Literary. to speak to; address.
  4. to show; indicate: This bespeaks a kindly heart.
  5. Obsolete. to foretell; forebode.

Origin of bespeak

before 900; Middle English bespeken, Old English besprecan. See be-, speak
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bespoken

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "You cannot have the new carriage you have bespoken," said his lordship.

  • The box was bespoken and the carriage, as soon as they had had their coffee, found to be in attendance.

    The Tragic Muse

    Henry James

  • Bartemy and I have bespoken an eel pie and a gallon of humming cider of Normandy.

    The Golden Dog

    William Kirby

  • The wall stood there before his eyes, exactly as he had bespoken it!

    The Yellow Fairy Book

    Leonora Blanche Alleyne Lang

  • I have bespoken a Miscellany: what would you have me do more?

    The Journal to Stella

    Jonathan Swift


British Dictionary definitions for bespoken

bespeak

verb -speaks, -speaking, -spoke, -spoken or -spoke (tr)
  1. to engage, request, or ask for in advance
  2. to indicate or suggestthis act bespeaks kindness
  3. poetic to speak to; address
  4. archaic to foretell
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

Word Origin and History for bespoken

bespeak

v.

Old English besprecan "speak about, speak against, complain," from be- + sprecan "to speak" (see speak). A common Germanic compound (cf. Old Saxon bisprecan, Dutch bespreken, Old High German bisprehhan, German besprechen); originally "to call out," it evolved a wide range of meaning in English, including "speak up," "oppose," "request," "discuss, "arrange," and "to order (goods)" (1580s).

The connection of the senses is very loose; some of them appear to have arisen quite independently of each other from different applications of BE- pref. [OED]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper