Entries linking to bedazzle
word-forming element of verbs and nouns from verbs, with a wide range of meaning: "about, around; thoroughly, completely; to make, cause, seem; to provide with; at, on, to, for;" from Old English be- "about, around, on all sides" (the unstressed form of bi "by;" see by (prep.)). The form has remained by- in stressed positions and in some more modern formations (bylaw, bygones, bystander).
The Old English prefix also was used to make transitive verbs and as a privative prefix (as in behead). The sense "on all sides, all about" naturally grew to include intensive uses (as in bespatter "spatter about," therefore "spatter very much," besprinkle, etc.). Be- also can be causative, or have just about any sense required. The prefix was productive 16c.-17c. in forming useful words, many of which have not survived, such as bethwack "to thrash soundly" (1550s) and betongue "to assail in speech, to scold" (1630s).
late 15c., "be stupefied, be confused" (a sense now obsolete), frequentative of Middle English dasen "be stunned, be bewildered" (see daze (v.)). Originally intransitive; the transitive sense of "overpower with strong or excessive light" is from 1530s. The figurative sense of "overpower or excite admiration by brilliancy or showy display" is from 1560s. As a noun, "brightness, splendor," 1650s. Related: Dazzled; dazzling.
updated on April 26, 2017