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In sense “custom-made”, 1755, from earlier bespoken (c. 1600), form of bespeak, in sense “arrange beforehand” (1580s),[1] of same origin as speak; compare order, made-to-order.



bespoke ‎(not comparable)

  1. Individually or custom made.
    • 1983, Kurt Andersen, “Her Majesty in Mellowland,” Time, 7 March, 1983,[1]
      Marc Valeric, a Beverly Hills milliner, sold 125 bespoke hats in two weeks to women desperate to dress properly for royal receptions.
    • 2001 October 1, Robin Osborne, “Why Did Athenian Pots Appeal to the Etruscans?”, in JSTOR[2], retrieved 2013-04-25:
      Were Athenian pots bespoke, bearing images requested by Etruscans?
    • 2004, Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty, Bloomsbury, 2005, Chapter 10,
      People gathered round, since it was something of an event, their MP, in his bespoke pinstripe and red tie, clutching an old Wellington boot and about to hurl it through the air.
    • 2012 August 1, Ed Yong, “Replacement Parts”, in The Scientist[3], retrieved 2012-08-12:
      … others are attempting the more ambitious feat of engineering bespoke human organs from scratch.
  2. Relating to someone who makes custom-made products, especially clothing items.
    a bespoke tailor

Usage notes[edit]

Primarily used for tailoring, now also used more generally, as fancier term for custom-made, notably for software, as in a “bespoke solution”.




  1. ^ bespoke” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).



  1. (archaic) simple past tense and past participle of bespeak