1. Completely; thoroughly; excessively. Used as an intensive: bemuse.
2. On; around; over: besmear.
3. About; to: bespeak.
4. Used to form transitive verbs from nouns, adjectives, and intransitive verbs, as:
a. To make; cause to become: bedim.
b. To affect, cover, or provide: bespectacled.
[Middle English bi-, be-, from Old English be-, bi-; see ambhi in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.