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[bih-kwest] /bɪˈkwɛst/
a disposition in a will.
a legacy:
A small bequest allowed her to live independently.
Origin of bequest
1250-1300; Middle English biqueste, biquyste, equivalent to bi- be- + quiste will, bequest, Old English -cwis(se) (with excrescent t, as in behest), noun derivative of cwethan to say; on the model of bequethen bequeath Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bequest
  • Moneys received by gift or bequest and designated for such purposes must also be kept in a trust fund and used for such purposes.
  • Proceeds of the bequest will support three third-year residents at the college.
  • It is said that no accurate estimate of the value of the bequest can be formed until an inventory of the pictures has been taken.
  • His intellectual bequest remains for a new generation of physicists vying to concoct a theory of everything.
  • The bequest is made to three families: and the only matter in dispute is, whether one of the third shares should be divided.
  • My bequest would be meaningless if it didn't reflect my lifelong support for the world of arts and letters.
  • And hopefully, third, recognize that your parents' bequest is set up as it is because that's their way of helping their grandkids.
  • Others referred to cadavers used in an embalming lab in a way that upset the families of anatomy-bequest donors.
  • Another answer comes from an obscure branch of economics known as strategic bequest theory.
  • The second bequest was a preppie talent for delegation.
British Dictionary definitions for bequest


  1. the act of bequeathing
  2. something that is bequeathed
(law) a gift of property by will, esp personal property Compare devise (sense 4), devise (sense 5)
Word Origin
C14: be- + Old English -cwiss degree; see bequeath
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 bequest

c.1300, "act of bequeathing," from be- + *cwis, *cwiss "saying" (related to quoth; from Proto-Germanic *kwessiz; cf. bequeath), with excrescent -t. Meaning "that which is bequeathed" is recorded from late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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