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See more synonyms for besought on Thesaurus.com
  1. a simple past tense and past participle of beseech.
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Related formsun·be·sought, adjective


verb (used with object), be·sought or be·seeched, be·seech·ing.
  1. to implore urgently: They besought him to go at once.
  2. to beg eagerly for; solicit.
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verb (used without object), be·sought or be·seeched, be·seech·ing.
  1. to make urgent appeal: Earnestly did I beseech, but to no avail.
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Origin of beseech

before 1100; Middle English bisechen, Old English besēcan. See be-, seek
Related formsbe·seech·er, nounbe·seech·ing·ly, adverbbe·seech·ing·ness, nounun·be·seech·ing, adjectiveun·be·seech·ing·ly, adverb


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for besought

Historical Examples

  • She had re-appeared; it was she herself who now sobbed and besought him to be tender and merciful.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • A friendly federal judge was besought to stop me by an injunction.

  • He snatched my hand, and besought me not to leave him in displeasure.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Soon it was I who besought the Count to fly—to leave me—to see me no more.

  • Again Jean, in stammering, disconnected sentences, besought him to be quiet.

    The Downfall

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for besought


  1. the past tense and past participle of beseech
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verb -seeches, -seeching, -sought or -seeched
  1. (tr) to ask (someone) earnestly (to do something or for something); beg
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Derived Formsbeseecher, nounbeseeching, adjectivebeseechingly, adverb

Word Origin

C12: see be-, seek; related to Old Frisian besēka
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 besought


Middle English besohte, past tense and past participle of beseech.

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late 12c., bisecen "to beseech, beg urgently," from be- + Middle English secen "to seek" (see seek). German cognate besuchen is merely "to visit." Related: Besought; beseeching.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper