Definitions

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

  • transitive v. Archaic To invoke evil upon; curse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To invoke or wish evil upon; to curse.
  • v. A mildly imprecatory or merely expletive introductory exclamation, in the form of the imperative.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To curse; to execrate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To wish a curse to; execrate.
  • In modern use, a mildly imprecatory or merely expletive introductory exclamation, in the form of the imperative.

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

  • v. wish harm upon; invoke evil upon

Etymologies

Middle English bishrewen : bi-, be- + shrew, wicked person; see shrew.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English beshrewen ("to curse, pervert"), equivalent to be- +‎ shrew. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I don't beshrew a company for pumping out its product.

    Mike Amato: Simon Cowell's AI Spill: Time to "Top Kill" American Idol

  • Nay, beshrew me if thou passest this door with dry lips.

    The Fair Maid of Perth

  • “The Lord of Gilsland is right,” said the Lady Calista, much agitated at the thoughts of the investigation which was to take place; “and besides, if I had presence of mind enough to forge a plausible story, beshrew me if I think I should have the courage to tell it.”

    The Talisman

  •     Do dearly love her; yea, beshrew the damned wrong,

    Poems and Fragments

  • Elephant and Castle, beshrew me, thy trumpeting must have made thee thirsty.

    The Rose and the Ring

  • “I envious? — beshrew thy heart for the word!” replied the handicraft.

    Kenilworth

  • I did but refresh myself after the fatigue of the action, with the unbeliever, with one humming cup of sack, and was proceeding to lead forth my captive, when, crash after crash, as with wild thunder-dint and levin-fire, down toppled the masonry of an outer tower, (marry beshrew their hands that built it not the firmer!) and blocked up the passage.

    Ivanhoe

  • Honest Bardolph, welcome: if thou wantest any thing, and wilt not call, beshrew thy heart.

    The second part of King Henry the Fourth

  • But beshrew me, he cried, clapping hand to his forehead, tomorrow will be a new day and, thousand thunders, I know of a MARCHAND DE CAPOTES,

    Ulysses

  • "And, beshrew me, that's enough for any man"; and the Lord of Haddon reverently crossed himself to show that the trial had had the approval of his conscience.

    Heiress of Haddon

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