9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[bih-kweeth , -kweeth] /bɪˈkwið, -ˈkwiθ/
verb (used with object)
to dispose of (personal property, especially money) by last will:
She bequeathed her half of the company to her niece.
to hand down; pass on.
Obsolete. to commit; entrust.
Origin of bequeath
before 1000; Middle English bequethen, Old English becwethan (be- be- + cwethan to say (see quoth), cognate with Old High German quedan, Gothic qithan)
Related forms
bequeathable, adjective
bequeathal, bequeathment, noun
bequeather, noun
unbequeathable, adjective
unbequeathed, adjective
1. will, impart, leave, bestow, grant, consign. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bequeathed
  • Knowledge differs from all other means of production in that it cannot be inherited or bequeathed.
  • We should be grateful for the treasures bequeathed to us and refrain from appraising their respective deserts.
  • Let's focus on the beauty of what our nation's forefathers bequeathed us.
  • And that is, indeed, non-overlapping with the understanding of the natural world bequeathed to us by science.
  • Yes, he bequeathed the nation a balanced budget and a decade of anticipated budget surpluses.
  • Given the situation bequeathed to him and to the nation, pleasure was not an option.
  • Teachers there have jobs for life, which can be bequeathed, bought or sold.
  • But there are plenty of other booms that can claim to have bequeathed something of value, to have been destructively creative.
  • We are each bequeathed a finite number of cellular building blocks, and the supply gets smaller each year.
  • He purchased land on the site of the former sawmill and bequeathed the river mouth and canyon to the state park system.
British Dictionary definitions for bequeathed


/bɪˈkwiːð; -ˈkwiːθ/
verb (transitive)
(law) to dispose of (property, esp personal property) by will Compare devise (sense 2)
to hand down; pass on, as to following generations
Derived Forms
bequeather, noun
bequeathal, noun
Word Origin
Old English becwethan; related to Old Norse kvetha to speak, Gothic qithan, Old High German quethan
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bequeathed



Old English becweðan "to say, speak to, exhort, blame," also "leave by will;" from be- + cweðan "to say," from Proto-Germanic *kwithan, from PIE *gwet- "to say, speak."

Original sense of "say, utter" died out 13c., leaving legal sense of "transfer by will." Closely related to bequest. "An old word kept alive in wills" [OED 1st ed.]. Old English bequeðere meant "interpreter, translator." Related: Bequeathed; bequeathing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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