[bih-dahy-zuh n, -diz-uh n]

verb (used with object)

to dress or adorn in a showy, gaudy, or tasteless manner.

Origin of bedizen

First recorded in 1655–65; be- + dizen
Related formsbe·di·zen·ment, nounun·be·di·zened, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bedizen

Historical Examples of bedizen

  • When I was young they died for that with which they now bedizen themselves.'


    Charles Kingsley

  • If Julia Cunningham chooses to bedizen herself in it, she is welcome to it—flounces and all.

    At Last

    Marion Harland

  • Prithee, young one, who art thou, and what has ailed thy mother to bedizen thee in this strange fashion?

    The Scarlet Letter

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • A refined woman will always look neat; but, on the other hand, she will not bedizen and bedeck herself with a view to display.

  • I will so bedizen your virile, though somewhat crassly practical gifts—— Why, women are my long suit.

    Free Air

    Sinclair Lewis

British Dictionary definitions for bedizen



(tr) archaic to dress or decorate gaudily or tastelessly
Derived Formsbedizenment, noun

Word Origin for bedizen

C17: from be- + obsolete dizen to dress up, of uncertain origin
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 bedizen

1660s, from be- + dizen "to dress" (1610s), especially, from late 18c., "to dress finely, adorn," originally "to dress (a distaff) for spinning" (1520s), and evidently the verbal form of the first element in distaff.

It is remarkable that neither the vb., nor the sb. as a separate word, has been found in OE. or ME., and that on the other hand no vb. corresponding to dizen is known in L.G. or Du. [OED]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper