tr.v. be·spoke (-spōk), be·spo·ken (-spōkən) or be·spoke, be·speak·ing, be·speaks
a. To be or give a sign of; indicate: "Their impeccable coiffures bespoke a recent trip to the beauty parlor" (Daniel B. Silver). See Synonyms at indicate.
b. To foretell; portend: "He salutes them with a stricken look, as if their arrival bespeaks doom for him" (Edna O'Brien).
a. To engage, hire, or order in advance: "Some of the volumes that she had just bespoken the bookseller was to send to foreign countries" (Henry James). See Synonyms at book1.
b. To request: bespeak a favor.
3. Archaic To speak to; address.
[Middle English bispeken, to speak out, from Old English besprecan, to speak about.]
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.