Definition of behest in US English:



  • A person's orders or command.

    ‘they had assembled at his behest’
    ‘the slaughter of the male children at the behest of Herod’
    • ‘Even if people switch their votes from party to party, election by election it does not follow that they do so at the behest of their daily paper.’
    • ‘The early European navigators and explorers mostly undertook their voyages at the behest of kings in search of wealth.’
    • ‘He was merely rebalancing his portfolio, at the behest of his financial adviser.’
    • ‘To say what was done was done at the behest of officials is totally incorrect.’
    • ‘The items were sold at the behest of his descendants and fetched much more than the auctioneers had bargained for.’
    instruction, bidding, request, requirement, wish, desire
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Old English behǣs ‘a vow’, from a Germanic base meaning ‘bid’; related to hight.