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How to pronounce bequeath (audio)

Dictionary definition of bequeath

To leave something, typically property or assets, to someone in a will or testament.
"He decided to bequeath his estate to his children."

Detailed meaning of bequeath

Bequeathal is the action or legal process of leaving property or assets by a will or testament. To bequeath something is to leave it to someone through a legal document, typically a will, that is executed after a person's death. A person who makes a will is known as a testator, and the person who is named in the will to receive the property or assets is known as a legatee or heir. The bequeathal can be of any property, money, or assets, it can be specific or general, and it can be conditioned or unconditional. Bequeathing can also include leaving instructions or messages to the legatee or heir. The act of bequeathal is a way for a person to ensure that their property and assets are distributed according to their wishes after their death.

Example sentences of bequeath

1. In his last testament, he decided to bequeath his fortune to charity.
2. I will bequeath this antique watch to my grandson.
3. She has chosen to bequeath her collection of rare books to the local library.
4. The elderly man decided to bequeath his old farmhouse to his favorite nephew.
5. My great-aunt wishes to bequeath her cherished pearls to me.
6. The philanthropist intends to bequeath her vast estate to various environmental causes.

History and etymology of bequeath

The verb 'bequeath' has a rich etymology rooted in Old English and Old Norse influences. It can be traced back to the Old English word 'becwethan,' which means 'to declare or promise by will.' This Old English term was a compound of 'be-' (about) and 'cwethan' (to say or speak), emphasizing the act of formally stating one's intentions regarding the distribution of their property after their death. The Old Norse influence comes from the word 'kvetha,' which has a similar meaning. Over time, these linguistic elements merged to form the word 'bequeath' in Middle English, retaining the core concept of leaving something, often property or assets, to someone through a will or testament. Thus, the etymology of 'bequeath' highlights its historical connection to the act of testamentary disposition and the passing on of one's possessions to heirs or beneficiaries.

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Further usage examples of bequeath

1. In his will, my grandfather plans to bequeath his beloved piano to me.
2. The artist has decided to bequeath all his paintings to a public museum.
3. I will bequeath my childhood teddy bear to my future child.
4. My mother plans to bequeath her diamond ring to my daughter when she turns 18.
5. The billionaire businesswoman has decided to bequeath the majority of her assets to scientific research.
6. My father intends to bequeath his collection of vintage cars to my brother.
7. The playwright has chosen to bequeath his scripts to the university's theater department.
8. She will bequeath her treasured recipes to her granddaughter.
9. I have decided to bequeath my fishing gear to my best friend.
10. The author wants to bequeath the royalties from his book to a children's charity.
11. The old sailor decided to bequeath his compass and sea maps to his young protegé.
12. The renowned chef plans to bequeath his secret recipes to his apprentice.
13. My grandmother has decided to bequeath her old sewing machine to me, as I am the only one who shares her love for sewing.
14. The entrepreneur intends to bequeath his shares in the company to his employees.


Quiz categories containing bequeath


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Multiple Choice Game

Multiple Choice

Opposite Words Game

Opposite Words

Same or Different Game



Spelling Bee




leave, disinherit, withhold, retain

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