Definition of bequeath in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /bɪˈkwiːð/


[with object]
1Leave (property) to a person or other beneficiary by a will: he bequeathed his art collection to the town
More example sentences
  • By his will dated 8th June 1956 he appointed the Mother to be his executrix and bequeathed all his property whatsoever or wheresoever to her.
  • She bequeathed all her property equally among her children.
  • Things look especially grim for him when they learn the actress had bequeathed him a ranch property in America worth quite a sum.
leave, leave in one's will, will, make over, pass on, hand on, hand down, cede, consign, commit, entrust, grant, transfer, convey;
donate, give, give over, turn over, vouchsafe;
bestow on, confer on;
Law  demise, devise
1.1Pass (something) on or leave (something) to someone else: he ditched the unpopular policies bequeathed to him
More example sentences
  • Each region bequeaths its own brand of craft skills and the results are so variegated that the categories run into the hundreds.
  • Hurricane Katrina ‘is giving our nation a glimpse of the climate chaos we are bequeathing our children.’
  • And he won't talk about the $4.6 trillion deficit he is bequeathing the nation or about wages.
hand down, hand on, pass on, impart, transmit



Example sentences
  • Properly completed bequeathal forms have legal status, a formal last will and testament is not required.
  • If you have no immediate next of kin available as a witness, the bequeathal is still legal.
  • Donations and bequeathals are welcome and tax deductible.


Pronunciation: /bɪˈkwiːðə/
Example sentences
  • Heirs paid the debts of the bequeather and other taxes according to the inherited parts the property.
  • The basic principles of inheritance are equality and the disposal rights of the bequeathers and the heirs.
  • Succession shall be governed by the law of the last state of residence of the bequeather.


Old English becwethan, from be- 'about' (expressing transitivity) + cwethan 'say' (see quoth).

  • The Old English form becwethan is composed of be- ‘about’ and cwethan ‘say’; the related bequest is Middle English, both reflecting a time when wills were often spoken rather than written. Quoth, an old term for ‘he/she said’ also comes from cwethan.

Words that rhyme with bequeath

breathe, enwreathe, Meath, seethe, sheathe, teethe, wreathe
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.