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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. (transitive) To bewet with tears, or as with tears. (Can we verify(+) this sense?)
    • 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
  3. (intransitive) To weep. (Can we verify(+) this sense?)

Derived terms[edit]


  • beweep at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • beweep in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911