- (of clothes) made to individual order; custom-made: a bespoke jacket.
- making or selling such clothes: a bespoke tailor.
Origin of bespoke
Words nearby bespoke
What does bespoke mean?
Bespoke means custom-made—made based on the specifications of the person ordering it, as in a bespoke suit. It can also be used to describe a person or company that makes such things, as in bespoke tailor.
Bespoke is an adjective, but it’s also the past tense of the verb bespeak, which commonly means to ask for in advance (as in I need to bespeak your help) or to reserve beforehand (as in You need to bespeak a table, sir). But bespeak is rarely used as a verb anymore—it sounds very outdated.
Bespoke also sounds a bit old-fashioned, but that’s probably why it became so trendy—it’s often used to imply a handcrafted, unique approach to making something. In its strictest sense, bespoke means made-to-order, but it’s often applied to things that aren’t actually made specifically for someone but that are simply made individually, as opposed to being mass-produced.
Example: I found this website yesterday that does bespoke sweatshirts that can be custom-made to my preferences and body type!
Where does bespoke come from?
The first records of the word bespoke come from the mid-1700s. The verb bespeak is recorded earlier, before 900. It comes from the Old English besprecan. It’s formed from the verb speak and and the prefix be-, which is used to form verbs.
The word bespoke technically describes something that’s been ordered to be one of a kind. The word is traditionally associated with custom-made clothing. Bespoke tailors measure a person and make a bespoke garment specifically to fit that person. (In fact, the term tailor-made is a synonym for bespoke that can be used generally to describe anything custom-made). The word is still often used this way to describe items that are made-to-order, such as bespoke jewelry, bespoke shoes, or bespoke websites.
However, bespoke is often simply applied to products to make them sound more unique. It has become a marketing buzzword similar to words like vintage, artisanal, curated, and craft (as in craft beer and craft cocktails). So beware what’s being sold as bespoke!
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms of bespoke?
- bespeak (verb)
What are some synonyms for bespoke?
What are some words that share a root or word element with bespoke?
What are some words that often get used in discussing bespoke?
How is bespoke used in real life?
Bespoke is a synonym for custom-made, but it’s often used to mean “individually made.” Bespoke is very trendy, so it’s often considered a buzzword.
Can anyone recommend a London based bespoke jewellery designer that does very minimal, designs in silver?
— Danielle (@VanierDanielle) May 11, 2020
Paul Munday has over 20 years of experience of Savile Row bespoke tailoring. He has been a partner and director in Meyer & Mortimer since 1994. Read more about Mr Munday here:https://t.co/E1n8ZDm6RV#savilerow #bespoke pic.twitter.com/6bOxgUiLTv
— Meyer & Mortimer (@meyer_mortimer) May 12, 2020
The plan for Penang was to eat (and drink) my way through the city and it got off to a roaring start. We’ve drank through the menu at this bar we stumbled on and they are now making bespoke cocktails for us. pic.twitter.com/33AcPFE6BK
— Dame Jayla Peperempe (@Miss_Jayla) August 6, 2019
Try using bespoke!
Which of the following terms is NOT a synonym of bespoke?
How to use bespoke in a sentence
On the other hand, the small-batch MT did have a bespoke controlled-fill cast aluminum frame, which must have driven its cost up considerably.
That means the ultimate destination of the coin is often an over-the-counter trader—a bespoke operation in a country like China that can turn coin into cash, sometimes with no strings attached.North Korean hackers steal billions in cryptocurrency. How do they turn it into real cash?|Patrick O'Neill|September 10, 2020|MIT Technology Review
As the hotel, which closed in 2016 for renovations, sourced partners for other bespoke items, such as toiletries, the concept of a house Champagne took hold.
While a specialty cocktail is far from novel—virtually every occasion, from corporate holiday parties to weddings, has its own boozy namesake creation—a bespoke liquor is more unusual.
What’s needed, he says, is a bespoke approach for each bank or payment provider.
Inside, patrons can sip on bespoke whisky and coffee while getting that buffed and polished look.The Most Exciting New Hotels, Restaurants, and Submarines of 2014|Charlie Gilbert|December 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
As their name implies, they devised bespoke tools and techniques for breaking into computers.
Desplat's strategy for Moonrise Kingdom was similarly bespoke.Meet Alexandre Desplat, Hollywood’s Master Composer|Andrew Romano|February 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Beyond the bright, short-term futures of this hardy band of survivors in a bespoke genre, what can be guaranteed?
These aren't stomping tunes, but tender and mournful folk songs, a bespoke genre.
His voice, too, was deeper and his manner bespoke for the first time a greater measure of confidence in himself.Three More John Silence Stories|Algernon Blackwood
This day I have a chine of beef sent home, which I bespoke to send, and did send it as a present to my uncle Wight.
The intruder was a man still young in years, but his lineaments bespoke a mind long agitated by evil passions.The Spy|J. Fenimore Cooper
The Queene, I hear, is now very well again, and that she hath bespoke herself a new gowne.
His dress, appearance, and manners always bespoke the cultured Christian gentleman.History of Prince Edward Island|Duncan Campbell