from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To be or give a sign of; indicate. See Synonyms at indicate.
- transitive v. To engage, hire, or order in advance. See Synonyms at book.
- transitive v. To request: bespeak a favor.
- transitive v. To foretell; portend: fearful weapons that bespeak great loss of life.
- transitive v. Archaic To speak to; address.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To speak about; tell of; relate; discuss.
- v. To speak for beforehand; engage in advance; make arrangements for; order or reserve in advance.
- v. To stipulate, solicit, ask for, or request, as in a favour.
- v. To forbode; foretell.
- v. To speak to; address.
- v. To betoken; show; indicate; foretell; suggest.
- v. To speak up or out; exclaim; speak.
- n. A request for a specific performance; a benefit performance, by a patron.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To speak or arrange for beforehand; to order or engage against a future time.
- transitive v. To show beforehand; to foretell; to indicate.
- transitive v. To betoken; to show; to indicate by external marks or appearances.
- transitive v. To speak to; to address.
- intransitive v. To speak.
- n. A bespeaking. Among actors, a benefit (when a particular play is bespoken.)
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To speak for beforehand; engage in advance; make arrangements for: as, to bespeak a place in a theater.
- To stipulate, solicit, or ask for, as a favor: as, to bespeak a calm hearing.
- To forebode; foretell.
- To speak to; address.
- To betoken; show; indicate, as by signs.
- To speak up or out; exclaim; speak.
- n. Among actors in Great Britain, a benefit: so called from the bespeaking of patronage by the actors, or of the play by the patrons. See benefit, 5.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. be a signal for or a symptom of
- v. express the need or desire for; ask for
Middle English bispeken, to speak out, from Old English besprecan, to speak about.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English bespeken, bispeken, from Old English *bespecan, besprecan ("to speak about, speak against, accuse of, claim at law, complain"), from Proto-Germanic *bisprekanan (“to discuss, blame”), equivalent to be- + speak. Cognate with Scots bespeke ("to beseech, speak or negotiate with"), West Frisian besprekke ("to discuss"), Dutch bespreken ("to discuss, review, debate"), German besprechen ("to discuss, review, talk about"). (Wiktionary)