Bespoke



a simple past tense and past participle of bespeak.
British.

(of clothes) made to individual order; custom-made:
a bespoke jacket.
making or selling such clothes:
a bespoke tailor.

Older Use. engaged to be married; spoken for.
to ask for in advance:
to bespeak the reader’s patience.
to reserve beforehand; engage in advance; make arrangements for:
to bespeak a seat in a theater.
Literary. to speak to; address.
to show; indicate:
This bespeaks a kindly heart.
Obsolete. to foretell; forebode.
Contemporary Examples

Sources at Emilia Wickstead told Grazia Daily that it was a bespoke dress specially made for Kate.
Shock! Horror! Kate Wears Brand New Dress Tom Sykes July 4, 2012

She is adamant about the difference between online dating and her own bespoke matches.
Anna Gristina, the Accused Mommy Madam, and Her Matchmaking Defense Tracy Quan June 24, 2012

Luxury is not about price, but inspiration, rare, bespoke and quality far beyond utility.
Luxury Fashion in Africa? Barbie Latza Nadeau November 16, 2012

These aren’t stomping tunes, but tender and mournful folk songs, a bespoke genre.
Why No Oscar Love For ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’? Tim Teeman January 19, 2014

They are favored by high-end designers and aficionados of bespoke tailoring.
Herman Cain’s Power Suit Robin Givhan November 3, 2011

Historical Examples

The man’s facetiousness interested me; it bespoke his nerve.
On a Donkey’s Hurricane Deck R. Pitcher Woodward

The unaccustomed action was significant; it bespoke a passionate loyalty.
Tiverton Tales Alice Brown

At noon to the ‘Change a little, and there bespoke some maps to hang in my new roome (my boy’s roome) which will be very-pretty.
Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete Samuel Pepys

It opens so abruptly and oddly, that attention is bespoke from the first line.
Graham’s Magazine Vol. XXXII No. 2. February 1848 Various

“Maybe it best so,” she said, in a manner which bespoke long association with white folk.
The Heart of Unaga Ridgwell Cullum

adjective (mainly Brit)
(esp of clothing or a website, computer program, etc) made to the customer’s specifications
making or selling such clothing, websites, etc: a bespoke tailor, a bespoke web designer
verb (transitive) -speaks, -speaking, -spoke, -spoken, -spoke
to engage, request, or ask for in advance
to indicate or suggest: this act bespeaks kindness
(poetic) to speak to; address
(archaic) to foretell
adj.

“custom or custom-made, made to order,” of goods, as distinguished from ready-made, 1755, the same sense found earlier in bespoken (c.1600), past participle of bespeak, in a sense of “to speak for, to arrange beforehand,” a sense attested in bespeak from 1580s. Now usually of tailored suits.
v.

Old English besprecan “speak about, speak against, complain,” from be- + sprecan “to speak” (see speak). A common Germanic compound (cf. Old Saxon bisprecan, Dutch bespreken, Old High German bisprehhan, German besprechen); originally “to call out,” it evolved a wide range of meaning in English, including “speak up,” “oppose,” “request,” “discuss, “arrange,” and “to order (goods)” (1580s).

The connection of the senses is very loose; some of them appear to have arisen quite independently of each other from different applications of BE- pref. [OED]

custom

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  • Bespoken

    a past participle of bespeak. bespoke. to ask for in advance: to bespeak the reader’s patience. to reserve beforehand; engage in advance; make arrangements for: to bespeak a seat in a theater. Literary. to speak to; address. to show; indicate: This bespeaks a kindly heart. Obsolete. to foretell; forebode. Contemporary Examples “When you’re a smaller […]

  • Bespread

    to spread over (a surface); cover (usually followed by with): a table bespread with fine linens. Historical Examples He got out the box of ointment and bespread the strips of torn handkerchief. The Magnetic North Elizabeth Robins (C. E. Raimond) The greater part of my way lay near the sea shore, which was bespread with […]



  • Besprent

    besprinkled; bestrewn. Historical Examples And he rode a great white mare, whose bases and other housings were black, but all besprent with fair lilys of silver sheen. Phantastes George MacDonald What beckoning ghost, besprent with April dew, Hails me so solemnly to yonder yew? Hearts of Controversy Alice Meynell The books at Saint-Cyr were stamped […]

  • Besprinkle

    to sprinkle (something) all over, as with water or a powder. Historical Examples Already had the snow begun to besprinkle the sky, and the branches of the trees were covered with rime like rabbit-skin. Devil Stories Various It would be a public service to besprinkle the path with sand. Memoirs of a Surrey Labourer George […]



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