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From Middle English bewepen, biwepen, from Old English bewēpan (to weep over, mourn, bewail), from Proto-Germanic *biwōpijaną (to weep over), equivalent to be- +‎ weep. Cognate with Old Frisian biwēpa (to beweep), Old Saxon biwōpian (to beweep). More at be-, weep.



beweep (third-person singular simple present beweeps, present participle beweeping, simple past and past participle bewept)

  1. (transitive) To weep over; weep for; weep about; deplore; lament.
    • c. 1593, Michael Drayton, The Shepheards Garland, The Second Eglog, 2nd edition,[1]
      With Nymphs and shepheards yearly moane
      His timeless death beweeping.
      In telling that my hart alone
      Hath his last will in keeping.
    • 1609, William Shakespeare, Sonnet 29,[2]
      When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
      I all alone beweep my outcast state
    • 1855, Matthew Arnold, Balder Dead, Part III, lines 44-46,[3]
      Let Gods, men, brutes, beweep him, plants and stones.
      So shall she know your loss was dear indeed.
      And bend her heart, and give you Balder back.
  2. (intransitive) To weep.
    • c. 1500, Thomas More, To Them that Trust in Fortune:
      Fast by her style doth wery labour stand./ Pale fere also, and sorrow all bewept
    • 1843, Alfred Bunn, The new grand opera In Three Acts of The Bohemian Girl., page 30:
      Child! Arline! wilt thou? darest thou heap A stain thine after life will beweep, On these hairs by thee and sorrow bleach'd On this hear dishonour never reach'd.
    • 1875, Charles Cowden Clarke, The Canterbury tales of Chaucer, with notes by T. Tyrwhitt., page 196:
      And therefore saith Job to God, ' Suffer, Lord, that I may a while bewail and beweep, ere I go without returning to the dark land, covered with the darkness of death ; to the land of misease and of darkness, whereas is the shadow of death; whereas is no order nor ordinance, but grisly dread that ever shall last.'
    • 2007, Cathy Hopkins, Starting Over, →ISBN:
      Cinnamongirl: I am in disgrace in my fellow maidens' eyes and I do beweep alone in my outcast state.
    • 2007, Vivek Iyer, Samlee's Daughter: A Novel, →ISBN:
      Anyway, not wishing to speak too much of myself- for 'my Auschwitz adolescence to whom beweep?/ Since my Belsen boyhood sent all to sleep'- I'll just take a single incident from my childhood to show how, 'Midnight's children' fashion, I too changed history by Giving Saddam Hussein the idea for biological weapons.
    • 2014, Vincenzo Cuoco, ‎Bruce Haddock, & ‎Filippo Sabetti, Historical Essay on the Neapolitan Revolution of 1799, →ISBN, page 114:
      How could I condemn a name that honours so many of my friends for whose distance or loss I now beweep?

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