from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An authoritative command.
  • n. An urgent request: I called the office at the behest of my assistant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To promise; vow.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which is willed or ordered; a command; a mandate; an injunction.
  • n. A vow; a promise.
  • transitive v. To vow.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To promise; vow.
  • n. A vow; a promise.
  • n. A command; precept; mandate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an authoritative command or request


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English bihest, vow, from Old English behǣs; see kei-2 in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English behǣs ("vow, promise"), from Proto-Germanic *bi (“be-”), *haisiz (“command”), from *haitanan (“to command”). Final -t by analogy with other similar words in -t. Related to Old English behātan ("to command, promise"), Middle Low German beheit, behēt ("a promise"). Compare also hest ("command"), hight.


  • So the idea that Congress passed the NASA authorization act at Griffin's behest is ludricous.

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  • The fact that the rest of the counrtry begrudges an interstate on-ramp, bridge or courthouse at Bob Byrd’s behest is galling considering how little has been spent on the region in the past.

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  • An thou pass safely through this period, thou shalt win to high rank and succeed to thy sire’s reign; but an things go otherwise then the behest is with Allah from the beginning to the end thereof.

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  • He placed on the FPPC's website spreadsheets detailing so-called behest contributions, in which politicians funnel large donations to their pet charities from special interests.


  • "Now they are saying that the post-mortem report was also doctored at Rathore's behest, which is totally wrong," she said, adding Girhotra did not inform the Panchkula police before taking his daughter to the PGI in Chandigarh.

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  • While the birthers and state-house hacks obsess over his convoluted neonatal underpinnings, far greater matters percolate at the President's behest.

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  • At Karen's behest, we first made our way to Zabriskie Point, a must-see for the eponymous 1970 Michelangelo Antonioni film that failed to define a generation, but was suitably psychedelic for the times.

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  • He would return a number of press calls, some at the behest of the press office.

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  • This past year, I burdened the English-speaking world with my very own translation of the New Testament – a project that I undertook at the behest of my editor at Yale University Press, but that I agreed to almost in the instant that it was proposed.

    January 10, 2018