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See also: Bestand



From Middle English bistanden, bestanden, from Old English bestandan (to stand round or about, beset, surround, attend to, harass), from Proto-Germanic *bistandaną (to surround, support), equivalent to be- +‎ stand. Cognate with Dutch bestaan (to exist, subsist, live), German bestehen (to exist, endure, be available), Swedish bestå (to consist, continue, endure, provide).


bestand (third-person singular simple present bestands, present participle bestanding, simple past and past participle bestood)

  1. (transitive) To stand by or near; stand around.
  2. (transitive) To beset; stand around in hostility; harass.
    • 1880, Sidney Lanier, Alfred Kappes, Sir Thomas Malory, The Boy's King Arthur:
      [...] that is my lord and uncle King Arthur, for he is full straitly bestood [sore beset] with a false traitor, which is my half brother Sir Mordred, [...]
  3. (transitive) To surround; encompass.
    • 1846, Polydore Vergil, Sir Henry Ellis, Polydore Vergil's English history:
      Wherefore the Brittishe bisshops, bestood with weapons and enemies, when thei coulde not execute all functions, and perceaved that the prelates their neighbours weare prompte to assiste them, [...]
  4. (transitive) To serve; be of service to; be ready to serve or aid.
    • 1904, Donald Grant Mitchell, American Lands and Letters:
      [...] and, inherited Puritan crust of stiffness that rarely left him, and which bestood him well under the ceremonials of his mission, whether at London (1846- 49) or later (1867-74) in Berlin.
    • 1907, Donald Grant Mitchell, The works of Donald G. Mitchell:
      Would not children come kindly to such out-of-door lessons, and to such practical knowledge as would always bestand them well?





bestand n (plural bestanden, diminutive bestandje n)

  1. archive, file
  2. (computing) file
  3. truce
    Twaalfjarig Bestand — Twelve Years' truce

Derived terms[edit]


bestand (not comparable)

  1. capable of withstanding, capable to withstand
    Dit huis is bestand tegen stormen. — This house can withstand storms.







  1. First-person singular preterite of bestehen.
  2. Third-person singular preterite of bestehen.