Definition of bequeath in English:

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Pronunciation: /bəˈkwēT͟H/
Pronunciation: /bəˈkwiTH/


[with object]
1Leave (a personal estate or one’s body) to a person or other beneficiary by a will: an identical sum was bequeathed by Margaret 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.
1.1Pass (something) on or leave (something) to someone else: he is ditching 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.



Pronunciation: /bəˈkwēT͟Hər/ Pronunciation: /bəˈkwēTHər/ Pronunciation: /bēˈkwēT͟Hər/ Pronunciation: /bēˈkwēTHər/
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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: be·queath

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