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In sense “custom-made”, 1755, from earlier bespoken (c. 1600), form of bespeak, in sense “arrange beforehand” (1580s),[1] a prefixed variant of 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, Robin Osborne, “Why Did Athenian Pots Appeal to the Etruscans?”, in World Archaeology[2], volume 33, number 2, Taylor & Francis, JSTOR 827903, page 278:
      Were Athenian pots bespoke, bearing images requested by Etruscans?
    • 2004, Alan Hollinghurst, chapter 10, in The Line of Beauty, New York: Bloomsbury, OCLC 1036692193:
      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.
    • 2016, "The Tube: Going Underground", Season 1, Episode 6
      There are 436 escalators in the London Underground, and every one is totally bespoke.
    • 2017 "Elements Part 2: Bespoken For", Adventure Time
      You need to get a nice bespoked suit. "Bespoke" means i's custom-made to fit your specific dimensions and emphasize what's flattering about your shape.
  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 an alternative term for custom-made, notably for software, as in a “bespoke solution”.





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


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2021), “bespoke”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.