1. Law The act of giving or leaving personal property by a will.
2. Something that is bequeathed; a legacy.
[Middle English biquest (influenced by biquethen, to bequeath) : bi-, be- + quist, will (from Old English -cwis, as in andcwis, answer; see gwet- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.