- 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 for bequeath on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for bequeathed
The tiara previously belonged to the Queen Mother who bequeathed it to Princess Margaret.Kate Dazzles in Vintage Tiara
December 4, 2013
But they also bequeathed to us a founding racism that we have found it almost impossible to jettison.The Invention of the Ego in Martin Luther’s Defiance
November 3, 2013
The Britain that she bequeathed to the world is a very different place.Thatcher's Economic Legacy
April 8, 2013
In 1463, a gentleman of Bury St. Edmunds bequeathed to a friend “my silvir forke for grene gyngour” (candied ginger).The Strange Way We Eat: Bee Wilson’s ‘Consider the Fork’
October 13, 2012
Charting a path away from the past requires that we act on the perspective that this passage of time has bequeathed us.The Lessons of 9/11
Richard A. Clarke
September 7, 2011
His father had been dead for some time, and had bequeathed his interest in the case to him!Ridgeway
A confessor was sent for, and he bequeathed his kingdom to his son Henry.Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II
Charlotte Mary Yonge
Ziska bequeathed his skin to be used as a drum to inspire the valour of the Bohemians.Self-Help
Confidence cannot be compelled; it cannot be bequeathed—or, at most, only to a very limited extent.High Finance
Otto H. Kahn
Is it credible that the possessions of the spirit can be bequeathed at all?Howards End
E. M. Forster
- 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 bequeathed
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.