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From be- +‎ tow, or as a back-formation from Middle English betowen (bestowed, applied), past participle of bitēn (to tug, pull, cover, apply, devote, employ, bring about, perform), from Old English betēon (to cover, surround, enclose).



betow (third-person singular simple present betows, present participle betowing, simple past and past participle betowed)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To tow about; pull; draw; lead about; conduct.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To educate; influence; steer; direct.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To bestow; apply.
    • 1821, David Hume, The history of England from the invasion of Julius Cæsar to the accession of Henry VII
      For Henry, as lord Bacon observes, loved to employ and advance prelates; because, having rich bishoprics to betow, it was easy for him to reward their services: []