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From Middle English bequethen, from Old English becweþan (to say, to speak to, address, exhort, admonish, blame, bequeath, leave by will), equivalent to be- +‎ quethe. Cognate with West Frisian bekwathan.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /bɪˈkwiːθ/, /bɪˈkwiːð/
  • Hyphenation: be‧queath
  • Rhymes: -iːð or Rhymes: -iːθ


bequeath (third-person singular simple present bequeaths, present participle bequeathing, simple past bequeathed or (obsolete) bequoth, past participle bequeathed or (rare) bequethen or (obsolete) bequothen)

  1. (law) To give or leave by will; to give by testament.
  2. To hand down; to transmit.
    • 1964 May, “News and Comment: Minister hamstrings BR workshops”, in Modern Railways, page 291:
      Ownership of manufacturing workshops is not essential to that job; but BR happen to have been bequeathed a considerable number with a proud history.
  3. To give; to offer; to commit.

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