Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To sit or stand on with the legs astride; straddle.
  • transitive v. To dominate by position; tower over: "Hitler's ghost, the specter that ... bestrides mid-twentieth-century history” ( Economist).
  • transitive v. Archaic To step or stride across.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To be astride something, to stand over or sit on with legs on either side, especially to sit on a horse.
  • v. To dominate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To stand or sit with anything between the legs, or with the legs astride; to stand over.
  • transitive v. To step over; to stride over or across.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To straddle over; mount astride of; stretch the legs or corresponding parts across so as to embrace: as, to bestride a horse; spectacles bestriding the nose.
  • To step over; cross by stepping.

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

  • v. get up on the back of

Etymologies

Middle English bistriden, from Old English bestrīdan : be-, be- + strīdan, to mount a horse; see stride.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Now when Kanmakan heard these words, he cried out, saying, “O villain, this I bestride is the steed whereof ye speak and after which ye seek, and ye would do battle with me for his sake’ So come out against me, all of you at once, and do you dourest for the nonce!”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • It's astonishing that our political leaders from both parties apparently believe that the United States can continue to bestride the world like an imperial colossus remaking entire societies in the image put forth by the Council of Foreign Relations or the American Enterprise Institute while at the same time becoming a pauper state that cannot even provide health care for its senior citizens.

    Joseph A. Palermo: For Progressives, Debt Ceiling "Deal" Was a Real Downer

  • ( "Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world/like a Colossus ....")

    Theater Review: Washington Shakespeare Company's evening of the Bard in Klingon

  • Finally the One From Whom All Wisdom Springs cupped water, sky and loam in His hands, and wrought the most perfect of beasts, a creature of the purest substance, one which would bestride the world as a testament to the perfection of His creation, whose power would know no equal, whose visage would rival the angels, and whose consciousness could grapple with truth.

    Apocrypha « BAHAY TALINHAGA

  • Though it does not yet quite talk the talk of "digital first" – looking forward, like the Journal Register group in the US or the Guardian here in Britain, to the days when dead trees are left to lie and paperless news organisations bestride the net – it is, nevertheless, envisaging a certain sort of future: one where everything changes, everything is up for grabs.

    New York Times bows to Mail Online – for now

  • He is one man that has bestride the political corridor like a colosus without base.

    Hadassah Lieberman under attack over industry ties

  • But it is my father I see against the landscape of my mind—the monarch bestride the world, fighting for all that he believed in no matter what the cost.

    Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer

  • The history of private-sector market dominance is filled with such seemingly sudden disappearing acts: Big-box music retailers and bookstores were supposed to bestride the land like colossi at the turn of our new century, but Virgin megastores have all but disappeared, and Borders has just gone bankrupt.

    Death of the Duopoly

  • I move, I have the power of movement, I command movement of the live thing I bestride.

    Chapter 36

  • "It is vastly wonderful for so stupid a clod to bestride the shoulders of time and ride the eternities."

    Chapter 36

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