bespawl | Definition of bespawl in English - infoAnew" /> bespawl" /> bespawl" /> bespawl definition" />

🤩 Discover new information from across the web

bespawl definition


Define the English word bespawl below. Bespawl is a verb. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .



From be- (prefix meaning ‘about; around’) +‎ spawl (to scatter spittle from the mouth, spit).[1]



bespawl (third-person singular simple present bespawls, present participle bespawling, simple past and past participle bespawled)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To daub, make foul, or soil (someone or something) with spawl or spittle.
    Synonyms: beslobber, bespit, bespittle
    • 1601, Ben Jonson, Poetaster or The Arraignment: [], London: [] [R. Bradock] for M[atthew] L[ownes] [], published 1602, OCLC 316392309, Act V, scene iii:
      [T]each thy Incubus to Poëtize, / And throvve abroad thy ſpurious Snotteries, / Vpon that puft-up Lumpe of Barmy froth, / [] / Or Clumſy Chil-blain'd Iudgement; that, vvith Oath, / Magnificates his Merit; and beſpaules / The conſcious Time, vvith humorous Fome; & bravvles, / As if his Organons of Senſe vvould crack / The ſinevves of my Patience.
    • 1622, Michael Drayton, “The Two and Twentieth Song”, in The Second Part, or A Continuance of Poly-Olbion from the Eighteenth Song. [], London: [] Augustine Mathewes for Iohn Marriott, Iohn Grismand, and Thomas Dewe, OCLC 26113679, page 33:
      Old Proteus hath been knovvne to leaue his finny Heard, / And in their ſight to ſpunge his foame-beſpavvled beard.
      An adjective use.
    • 1634, Joseph Hall, “[Part First: On the Questions between the Church of England and the Church of Rome]. Inurbanitati Pontificiæ Responsio Josephi Exoniensis. An Answer to Pope Urban’s Inurbanity: Expressed in a Brief Sent to Lewis the French King, Exasperating Him against the Protestants in France. [].”, in Robert Hall, transl.; Josiah Pratt, editor, The Works of the Right Reverend Father in God, Joseph Hall, D.D. [], volume IX (Polemical Works), London: [] C[harles] Whittingham, []; for Williams and Smith, [], published 1808, OCLC 1190972734, page 351:
      Well, since thou wilt bespaul, bedribble the ashes of unhappy Rochel, and scatter with thy disdainful breath the despised dust of that forlorn city: yet, withal, call to mind a little, how not many ages are past, since the time was, that this hereditary sceptre of this, thy now, Lewis broke open the gates of Rome, demolished the walls, dispersed and slew the inhabitants, and shut up thy great predecessor, laden with bitter scoffs and execrations, in his blind dungeon.
    • 1641, John Milton, “Sect. I”, in Animadversions upon the Remonstrants Defence against Smectymnuus; republished in A Complete Collection of the Historical, Political, and Miscellaneous Works of John Milton, [], volume I, Amsterdam [actually London: s.n.], 1698, OCLC 926209975, page 149:
      See hovv this Remonſtrant vvould inveſt himſelfe conditionally vvith all the Rheume of the Tovvne, that he might have ſufficient to beſpaul his Brethren.
    • 1884 June 3, Joseph Rawicz, “Warsaw”, in Labor in Europe. Reports from the Consuls of the United States in the Several Countries of Europe on the Rates of Wages, Cost of Living to the Laboring Classes, Past and Present Wages, &c. in Their Several Districts, [] (United States Consular Reports), Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, published 1885, OCLC 1235556203, part II (Female Labor), page 1499:
      Some ten or more years ago the police authorities ordered the introduction of respirators for the use of workwomen in tobacco factories. Complying with this order, they purchased one respirator for a certain number of laborers, but it was good for nothing, as workwomen could use the respirators only by turns, and besides they had an aversion to apply to their mouths an object which was bespawled by others, consequently the respirators soon disappeared from tobacco manufactories.
    • 1891, Viktor Rydberg, “The Myth in Regard to the Lower World”, in Rasmus B[jørn] Anderson, transl., Teutonic Mythology, London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co. [], section 76 (The Places of Punishment), page 367:
      The doors are covered with the soot of the ages; the walls are bespattered with filth; the roof is closely covered with barbs; the floor is strewn with serpents and bespawled with all kinds of uncleanliness[.]
    • 1900, Theophrastus, “Of Foulness”, in [anonymous], transl.; David J[osiah] Brewer, Edward A. Allen, and William Schuyler, editors, The World’s Best Essays from the Earliest Period to the Present Time [], volume X, royal edition, St. Louis, Mo.: Ferd[inand] P. Kaiser, OCLC 4246752, page 3769:
      [W]hile he would spit beyond the table, he all-to-bespawleth him who skinketh at the feast.
    • 1948, A[braham] M[oses] Klein, “In the City of Slaughter [Version 2]”, in Usher Caplan, editor, Complete Poems: Part 2: Original Poems, 1937–1955 and Poetry Translations, Toronto, Ont.; Buffalo, N.Y.: University of Toronto Press, published 1990, →ISBN, lines 83–88, page 746:
      There where the virginal daughters of our folk were fouled, / Where seven heathen flung each woman down, / And fought to pre-possess, possessed them, and bespawled: / The daughter in the presence of her mother, / The mother in the presence of her daughter, / Before slaughter, during slaughter, and after slaughter!
    • 2017, Peggy A. Wheeler, chapter 28, in The Extraordinary Life of Beautimus Potamus, Calgary, Alta.: Dragon Moon Press, →ISBN:
      Please forgive me for being such a complete bespawling ditz.
      An adjective use.

Alternative forms

Derived terms

Related terms


  1. ^ † bespawl, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2021.

Further reading

  • bespawl”, in Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary