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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for beshrew

Historical Examples of beshrew

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

    Historic Boys

    Elbridge Streeter Brooks

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

    Under the Rose

    Frederic Stewart Isham

  • Beshrew me if I drink the king's health, or that of his minion, Anne Boleyn!

    Windsor Castle

    William Harrison Ainsworth

  • Beshrew me if I don't think an evil spirit has crept into you.

    Captain Ravenshaw

    Robert Neilson Stephens

  • Beshrew his heart for his labour, how everything about me quivers.

British Dictionary definitions for beshrew



(tr) archaic to wish evil on; curse (used in mild oaths such as beshrew me)

Word Origin for beshrew

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

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