Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. Law To leave or give (personal property) by will.
  • transitive v. To pass (something) on to another; hand down: bequeathed to their children a respect for hard work.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To give or leave by will; to give by testament.
  • v. To hand down; to transmit.
  • v. To give; to offer; to commit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To give or leave by will; to give by testament; -- said especially of personal property.
  • transitive v. To hand down; to transmit.
  • transitive v. To give; to offer; to commit.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • . To give away; transfer the possession of; assign as a gift.
  • To give or leave by will; assign as a legacy: more commonly, but not necessarily, used of personal property, in contradistinction to real property, which is said to be devised.
  • To hand down; transmit.
  • To commit; commend; intrust.
  • To give or yield; furnish; impart.
  • Reflexively, to commit; dedicate; devote.
  • n. A bequest.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. leave or give by will after one's death

Etymologies

Middle English biquethen, from Old English becwethan : be-, be- + cwethan, to say; see gwet- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English bequethen, from Old English becweþan ("to say, to speak to, address, exhort, admonish, blame, bequeath, leave by will"), equivalent to be- +‎ quethe. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And lastly, (for there is no end of enumerating every particular of his glory,) with one word bequeath all this power and splendor to his posterity?

    The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part E. From Charles I. to Cromwell

  • A loophole in the rules allows council house tenants to "bequeath" their tenancies when they die.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • The dictionary meaning of "bequeath": 1) to leave (property, etc.) to another by one's will; 2) to hand down, to pass on.

    Museum Blogs

  • I have seen many men strip, in gymnasium and training quarters, men of good blood and upbringing, but I have never seen one who stripped to better advantage than this young sot of two-and-twenty, this young god doomed to rack and ruin in four or five short years, and to pass hence without posterity to receive the splendid heritage it was his to bequeath.

    A MAN AND THE ABYSS

  • "Flexibility is nothing to bequeath," he mutters into his armpit more escape from trunk

    Of Midwest Contortionists In Extremis

  • In fact they are many of you, your children, your grandchildren and the legacy we bequeath must not be defeat and denial but glory and the celebration of their genius and ingenuity.

    Rick Tumlinson: Apollo's Children and the NewSpace Revolution

  • If you're passing the house down to one person, you typically can give it to him or her outright as a gift while you are still alive or bequeath it in your will.

    Create a Plan to Pass On the Family Cottage

  • It should be because we want to live up to the example of public servants like John Roll and Gabby Giffords, who knew first and foremost that we are all Americans, and that we can question each other's ideas without questioning each other's love of country, and that our task, working together, is to constantly widen the circle of our concern so that we bequeath the American dream to future generations.

    Obama saves Tucson memorial from the unseemly

  • We should be civil because we want to live up to the example of public servants like John Roll and Gabby Giffords, who knew first and foremost that we are all Americans, and that we can question each other's ideas without questioning each other's love of country and that our task, working together, is to constantly widen the circle of our concern so that we bequeath the American Dream to future generations.

    Obama Arizona Memorial Speech: FULL TEXT & VIDEO

  • He also takes in a car-cleaner named Tony (Rupert Grint), who he sees as a potential apprentice, to whom he can bequeath his wealth of professional knowledge.

    Marshall Fine: HuffPost Review: Wild Target

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  • bequeath to later generations

    January 26, 2011