bespeak

[ bih-speek ]
/ bɪˈspik /

verb (used with object), be·spoke or (Archaic) be·spake; be·spo·ken or be·spoke; be·speak·ing.

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.

Nearby words

  1. besotted,
  2. besought,
  3. bespake,
  4. bespangle,
  5. bespatter,
  6. bespeckle,
  7. bespectacled,
  8. bespoke,
  9. bespoken,
  10. bespread

Origin of bespeak

before 900; Middle English bespeken, Old English besprecan. See be-, speak

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bespeak


British Dictionary definitions for bespeak

bespeak

/ (bɪˈspiːk) /

verb -speaks, -speaking, -spoke, -spoken or -spoke (tr)

to engage, request, or ask for in advance
to indicate or suggestthis act bespeaks kindness
poetic to speak to; address
archaic to foretell
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 bespeak

bespeak

v.

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]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper