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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, Britain 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.