Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A double slip of leather by which bells are fastened to a hawk's legs.
  • v. To bequeath.
  • v. To endue or impart wit (to); instruct.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A double slip of leather by which bells are fastened to a hawk's legs.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See bewet.

Etymologies

From Middle English biwitten, biwiten, biwitien, from Old English bewitan, bewītan, bewitian ("to look over, watch over, take charge of, have charge or direction of, superintend, preside, govern, administer"), equivalent to be- +‎ wit. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English bewette, diminutive of Old French beue, bue, buie, boie ("bond, chain"), from Latin boia ("neck collar, fetter"). Compare buoy. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The “bewit” is a slip of leather attaching bells to the feet, so you know where your falcon is.

    Birdology

  • Peter replied with a sudden iciness to his voice that put the tinkling of bewit bells to shame.

    From This Beloved Hour

  • Jenny listened for the dissonant tones of bewit bells but-heard none.

    From This Beloved Hour

  • "If you knew as much about falconry as you profess, you would have figured it out," Peter replied, his tone insinuating that she couldn't tell the difference between a hack bell - heavy bells used to hinder falcons from hunting for themselves during certain periods of training - and a bewit bell - smaller bells attached for tonal identification.

    From This Beloved Hour

  • Yet I jeered not at the Voice, to show contempt of its failing to bewit me; but let the matter bide; and the Voice would be silent a time; and again would make a calling unto me; but never did I make speech with it (for therein lies the danger to the soul), but always did speak the Master – Word to its silencing; and thereafter would shut the thing from my memory, and think only upon sweet and holy matters, as it might be Truth and Courage, but more often of Naani, which was both sweet and holy to my spirit and heart and being.

    The Night Land

  • Yet I jeered not at the Voice, to show contempt of its failing to bewit me; but let the matter bide; and the Voice would be silent a time; and again would make a calling unto me; but never did I make speech with it (for therein lies the danger to the soul), but always did speak the Master-Word to its silencing; and thereafter would shut the thing from my memory, and think only upon sweet and holy matters, as it might be Truth and Courage, but more often of Naani, which was both sweet and holy to my spirit and heart and being.

    The Night Land: Chapter 5

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