From Middle English besechen, bisechen, prefixed form of Old English sēċan (“to seek or inquire about”). Cognate with Saterland Frisian besäike (“to visit”), Dutch bezoeken (“to visit, attend, see”), German besuchen (“to visit, attend, see”), Swedish besöka (“to visit, go to see”).
- to beg or implore (a person)
- 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur Book XX, Chapter iii, leaf 401r:
- Moost noble crysten Quene I byseche yow as ye haue ben euer my specyal good lady and I at al tymes your true poure knyghte vnto my power and as I neuer fayled yow in ryghte nor in wrong sythen the fyrst day kynge Arthur made me knyghte that ye wylle praye for my soule yf that I here be slayne;
"Most noble Christian queen, I beseech you as ye have been ever my special good lady, and I at all times your true poor knight unto my power, and as I never failed you in right nor in wrong sithen the first day King Arthur made me knight, that ye will pray for my soul if that I here be slain;"
- 1748, David Hume, Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral, London: Oxford University Press, published 1973, § 25:
- after what manner, I beseech you, must the mind proceed in this operation?
- 1888, Rudyard Kipling, “Watches of the Night”, in Plain Tales from the Hills, Folio, published 2005, page 61:
- She besought him, for his Soul's sake to speak the truth.
- 1919, W[illiam] Somerset Maugham, “chapter 31”, in The Moon and Sixpence, [New York, N.Y.]: Grosset & Dunlap Publishers […], →OCLC:
- Panting a little in his haste, he told her how miserable he was; he besought her to have mercy on him; he promised, if she would forgive him, to do everything she wanted.
- to request or beg for
beseech (plural beseeches)