• (GA) IPA: /bɪˈstoʊ/
  • (RP) IPA: /bɪˈstəʊ/

bestow (bestows, present participle bestowing; past and past participle bestowed)

  1. (transitive) To lay up in store; deposit for safe keeping; to stow or place; to put something somewhere.
    • 1611, King James Bible, Luke 12:17:
      And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits.
    • 1977, J.R.R. Tolkien, Of the Rings of Power, HarperCollins, page 358:
      Of the Three Rings that the Elves had preserved unsullied no open word was ever spoken among the Wise, and few even of the Eldar knew where they were bestowed.
  2. (transitive) To lodge, or find quarters for; provide with accommodation.
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene vi], page 143 ↗:
      I heare / Macduffe liues in diſgrace. Sir, can you tell / Where he beſtowes himſelfe?
  3. (transitive) To dispose of.
    • 1615-17, Thomas Middleton et al., The Widow (play), in The Ancient British drama, edited by Robert Dodsley, Sir Walter Scott, published 1810:
      Here are blank warrants of all dispositions; give me but the name and nature of your malefactor, and I'll bestow him according to his merits.
  4. (transitive) To give; confer; impart gratuitously; present something to someone or something, especially as a gift or honour.
    Medals were bestowed on the winning team.
    • 1831, Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
      Soft tears again bedewed my cheeks, and I even raised my humid eyes with thankfulness towards the blessed sun which bestowed such joy upon me.
    • 2008, Illiad,, “The Large Hadron Collider Game ↗
      CERN bestows slush fund on the LHC. Take all pennies from the CERN space.
  5. (transitive) To give in marriage.
    • 1590-92, William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, Act 1, Scene 1, lines 50-51:
      That is not to bestow my youngest daughter/ before I have a husband for the elder.
  6. (transitive) To apply; make use of; use; employ.
    • 1887, John Marston, Arthur Henry Bullen, The Works of John Marston:
      [...] I determine to bestow Some time in learning languages abroad; [...]
  7. (transitive, obsolete) To behave or deport.
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