Behest – a person’s orders or command.
“they had assembled at his behest“
Behest is a curious word. It looks like it should be related to ‘bequest’ but is actually closer to ‘request’. It also reminds me vaguely of behemoth, a peculiar biblical word.
Behest is also one of those words that I use in conversation and people give me a look which I suspect means “that’s only supposed to be used in books and not actually said aloud.” (There are many of these. They are not helped by the fact that I’m an unreliable pronouncer of words thanks to having picked up a goodly part of my vocabulary from reading books.)
Whilst I’m on the subject of books and behest… Petticoats and Promises is now out (or will be tomorrow, possibly), and if people wanted to buy the book at my behest, that would be very excellent 🙂