- to ask for in advance: to bespeak the reader's patience.
- to reserve beforehand; engage in advance; make arrangements for: to bespeak a seat in a theater.
- Literary. to speak to; address.
- to show; indicate: This bespeaks a kindly heart.
- Obsolete. to foretell; forebode.
Origin of bespeak
Related Wordsimply, attest, exclaim, engage, show, hint, request, stipulate, discuss, speak, accost, foretell, argue, address, ask, announce, reserve, cite, arrange
Examples from the Web for bespeak
As he said this, he held up his hand to bespeak Martin's attention.Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
Was there one, even one, whose counsel he could ask, or whose assistance he could bespeak?One Of Them
Charles James Lever
I hate to tell you, but as I wish to bespeak your kind offices, I must do so.The Strange Adventures of Mr. Middleton
Wardon Allan Curtis
The reply of Ossaroo did not bespeak any very sanguine hope on his part.The Cliff Climbers
Captain Mayne Reid
The colour of his skin, with the moustache, bespeak him a white man, and not an Indian.The Lone Ranche
Captain Mayne Reid
- to engage, request, or ask for in advance
- to indicate or suggestthis act bespeaks kindness
- poetic to speak to; address
- archaic to foretell
Word Origin and History for bespeak
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]