Etymology [ bi-'thi[ng]k ] (transitive verb.) before 12th century. From Middle English bethenken, bithenchen "to think about, consider" from Old English beþenċan, biþenċan "to think upon, remind, consider, remember" from Proto-Germanic *biþankijanan (“to think about”), equivalent to be- + think. Akin to Old High German pidenchan "to bethink" (German bedenken "to bethink"), Gothic (biþagkjan), Dutch bedenken "to bethink". More at be-, think.