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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English befon (past participle befangen), from Old English befōn (to surround, clasp, include, envelop, encase, clothe, comprehend, seize, attack (at law), lay hold of, catch, ensnare, contain, receive, conceive, explain), equivalent to be- +‎ fang. Cognate with Dutch bevangen (to seize), Middle High German bevān (to comprehend).


befang (third-person singular simple present befangs, present participle befanging, simple past and past participle befanged)

  1. (transitive, UK dialectal) To lay hold on; seize; grasp; catch; clutch.
    Come here an' I'll befang thee!
  2. (intransitive, obsolete) To take hold on; begin or commence upon.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To encompass; enclose; contain; comprehend.


  • Wright, The English dialect dictionary, Befang.
  • Philological Society (Great Britain), A new English dictionary on historical principles, Befong.