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bespeak

[bih-speek] /bɪˈspik/
verb (used with object), bespoke or (Archaic) bespake; bespoken or bespoke; bespeaking.
1.
to ask for in advance:
to bespeak the reader's patience.
2.
to reserve beforehand; engage in advance; make arrangements for:
to bespeak a seat in a theater.
3.
Literary. to speak to; address.
4.
to show; indicate:
This bespeaks a kindly heart.
5.
Obsolete. to foretell; forebode.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English bespeken, Old English besprecan. See be-, speak
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for bespeak
  • Its rough binding and paper bespeak economic hardship.
  • The big dining-room and kitchen and eight guest chambers up-stairs bespeak the hospitable habits of the master of the premises.
  • Avoid body language that could bespeak slowly and move slowly.
  • Other surveys of households also continue to bespeak a hot labor market.
  • However, the round arched windows well bespeak a western influence amidst the otherwise oriental ornamentation.
  • Such accouterments bespeak devotion, not prejudgment.
British Dictionary definitions for bespeak

bespeak

/bɪˈspiːk/
verb (transitive) -speaks, -speaking, -spoke, -spoken, -spoke
1.
to engage, request, or ask for in advance
2.
to indicate or suggest: this act bespeaks kindness
3.
(poetic) to speak to; address
4.
(archaic) to foretell
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 bespeak
v.

Old English besprecan "speak about, speak against, complain," from be- + sprecan "to speak" (see speak). A common Germanic compound (cf. Old Saxon bisprecan, Dutch bespreken, Old High German bisprehhan, German besprechen); originally "to call out," it evolved a wide range of meaning in English, including "speak up," "oppose," "request," "discuss, "arrange," and "to order (goods)" (1580s).

The connection of the senses is very loose; some of them appear to have arisen quite independently of each other from different applications of BE- pref. [OED]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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