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I am looking for a better word choice for give when we give something to a highly respected person (or an entity, such as an organization, a government, or a country).

The basic sense of the word give is usually sufficient to describe the act of giving something to someone. However, in most Asian cultures, we usually use different words for giving something to a person with equal or lower social status (in this case give is quite perfect), from giving something to a person who has higher social status, especially when that person is highly respectable in the society. (A venerable person might be an appropriate term here.) This "something" could be abstract, such as respect, loyalty, an honorable title, or concrete, such as money, a souvenir, a celebration, a tribute, and so on.

Some words I found in dictionaries are offer, dedicate, and consecrate are close, but not quite.

Is there a word, or a short phrase, for this verb in English?

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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The word bestow comes to mind.

to convey as a gift —usually used with on or upon

The university bestowed on her an honorary degree.

Google:

Confer or present (an honor, right, or gift).
"the office was bestowed on him by the chief of state"
synonyms: confer on, grant, accord, afford, endow

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Present comes to mind. It's also part of the definition of bestow in mplungjan's answer.

Particularly the definition:

Give or award formally or ceremonially.


"They presented him with extravagant gifts"
You will present something to them.

I have tried to think of how it could be applied to non physical gifts such as respect, but in those cases I don't think it works well, though I think it could fit if the sentence was structured right.

Something like:

He was presented with a display of respect and loyalty.

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You can "flatter" someone with words, gifts or compliments.

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