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[bih-stoh] /bɪˈstoʊ/
verb (used with object)
to present as a gift; give; confer (usually followed by on or upon):
The trophy was bestowed upon the winner.
to put to some use; apply:
Time spent in study is time well bestowed.
  1. to provide quarters for; house; lodge.
  2. to put; stow; deposit; store.
Origin of bestow
1275-1325; Middle English bestowen. See be-, stow1
Related forms
bestowal, bestowment, noun
misbestow, verb (used with object)
prebestow, verb (used with object)
prebestowal, noun
unbestowed, adjective
well-bestowed, adjective
1. grant, vouchsafe, award, accord. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bestow
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To qualify themselves for this they bestow their time, their money and their labor.

  • What war could ravish, commerce could bestow, And he returned a friend, who came a foe.

    Essay on Man Alexander Pope
  • I had a hobby-horse, which I rode constantly to fairy-land in quest of treasure to bestow upon my friends.

    Hawthorne and His Circle Julian Hawthorne
  • And humbly accept such countenance as they choose to bestow?

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • He had all that mere possessions could bestow, but always with a sense that Debrett, round the corner, was keeping an eye on him.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost William Frend De Morgan
British Dictionary definitions for bestow


verb (transitive)
to present (a gift) or confer (an award or honour)
(archaic) to apply (energy, resources, etc)
(archaic) to house (a person) or store (goods)
Derived Forms
bestowal, bestowment, noun
bestower, noun
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 bestow

early 14c., bistowen "give" (as alms, etc.), from be- + stowen "to place" (see stow). Related: Bestowed; bestowing; bestower.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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