Rare English word to learn the noun of Behest

by Jan 16, 2019English Vocabulary

Suparno Bhattachayrra

Community Writer (India)

  • Leadership strengths (Level 16)
  • Community Writer (Level 3)

Do you know the history and correct usage of the rare English word “Behest”?


New English words to learn, What is Behest?  Solstice is a noun and pronounces as “bih-HEST”.

Definition :

  • An authoritative order: command
  • An urgent prompting

Behest Origin:

Today’s word first appeared in Old English and was formed from the prefix be – and the verb hātan (“to command” or “to promise”).

While behest was originally used only in the sense of “promise,” it acquired the additional sense of “command” among speakers of Middle English. Among contemporary English speakers, behest is no longer used in the sense of “promise” but rather denotes an authoritative or urgent request or command.

Old English hātan also gave English the now-archaic words hest (meaning “command”) and hight (“being called or named”).


Behest Examples:

  • They arrested him at the King’s behest.
  • The budget proposal was adopted at the president’s behest.
  • The committee was set up at the behest of the president.
  • I called the office at the behest of my secretary.
  • In 1970, at his new wife’s behest, they moved to Southampton.
  • Like producing their first two records at the behest of inquiring fans.
  • A proposal added Monday at the behest of Sen.
  • The committee was formed at the behest of Governor Sinclair.
  • The poem was written, possibly at Charles’s behest, and published in early November of 1681.
  • At least partly at his behest, on February 25th the Supreme Court disqualified Mr Sharif and his brother, Shahbaz, Punjab’s chief minister, from holding public office.
  • The policy document was produced at the behest of John Major and other world leaders.
  • The policy document was produced at the behest of John Major and other world leaders.
  • But this behest of old Mrs. Mingott’s roused him to a sense of what the clan thought they had the right to exact from a prospective son-in-law, and he chafed at the role.
  • Is that what such a force would have done, acting at the behest of the Council of Ministers?
  • They conceive a child, marry and quickly divorce at the grandparents’ behest.
Add These Rare and Uncommon Words to Your Vocabulary Now. Thank you,Suparno Bhattachayrra

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