become

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English

Etymology

From Middle English becomen, bicumen, from Old English becuman (to come, approach, arrive, enter, meet with, fall in with; happen, befall; befit), from Proto-Germanic *bikwemaną (to come around, come about, come across, come by), equivalent to be- (about, around) +‎ come. Cognate with Scots becum (to come, arrive, reach a destination), North Frisian bekommen, bykommen (to come by, obtain, receive), West Frisian bikomme (to come by, obtain, receive), Dutch bekomen (to come by, obtain, receive), German bekommen (to get, receive, obtain), Swedish bekomma (to receive, concern), Gothic 𐌱𐌹𐌵𐌹𐌼𐌰𐌽 ( biqiman, to come upon one, befall). Sense of "befit, suit" due to influence from Middle English cweme, icweme, see queem.

Pronunciation

  • (UK) IPA(key): /bɪˈkʌm/, /bəˈkʌm/
    (Northern England) IPA(key): /bɪˈkʊm/, /bəˈkʊm/
  • (US) IPA(key): /bəˈkʌm/, /biˈkʌm/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌm
  • Hyphenation: be‧come

Verb

become (third-person singular simple present becomes, present participle becoming, simple past became or (nonstandard) becomed, past participle become or (rare, dialectal) becomen)

  1. (intransitive, obsolete) To arrive, come (to a place). [9th-18thc.]
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter ii, in Le Morte Darthur, book XVIII:
      & thenne the noble knyghte sire Launcelot departed with ryghte heuy chere sodenly / that none erthely creature wyste of hym / nor where he was become / but sir Bors
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
      But, madam, where is Warwick then become?
  2. (copulative) To come about; happen; come into being; arise. [from 12thc.]
    What became of him after he was let go?
    It hath becomen so that many a man had to sterve.
  3. (copulative) begin to be; turn into. [from 12thc.]
    Synonyms: get, turn, go
    She became a doctor when she was 25.
    The weather will become cold after the sun goes down.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, in The Celebrity:
      The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again; for, even after she had conquered her love for the Celebrity, the mortification of having been jilted by him remained.
    • 2012 May 13, Alistair Magowan, “Sunderland 0-1 Man Utd”, in BBC Sport:
      Then, as the Sunderland fans' cheers bellowed around the stadium, United's title bid was over when it became apparent City had pinched a last-gasp winner to seal their first title in 44 years.
    • 2013 May-June, William E. Conner, “An Acoustic Arms Race”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 206-7:
      Earless ghost swift moths become “invisible” to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close (less than half a meter) above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them.
  4. (transitive) To be proper for; to beseem. [from 13thc.]
    • 1610-11?, Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act III, scene ii:
      Ay, lord, she will become thy bed, I warrant,
      And bring thee forth brave brood.
    • 1892, Ambrose Bierce, “The Applicant,” in The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Volume II: In the Midst of Life (Tales of Soldiers and Civilians), New York: Gordian Press, 1966,[1]
      He was hatted, booted, overcoated, and umbrellaed, as became a person who was about to expose himself to the night and the storm on an errand of charity []
    • 1930, Duff Cooper, Talleyrand, Folio Society, 2010, p.7:
      His ordination [] enabled him to be independent of his parents, and to afford a manner of living which became his rank rather than his calling.
  5. (transitive) Of an adornment, piece of clothing etc.: to look attractive on (someone). [from 14thc.]
    That dress really becomes you.

Synonyms

Translations

References

Other Languages
العربية: become
Bân-lâm-gú: become
български: become
català: become
čeština: become
corsu: become
dansk: become
Deutsch: become
eesti: become
Ελληνικά: become
español: become
euskara: become
فارسی: become
français: become
galego: become
한국어: become
հայերեն: become
hrvatski: become
Ido: become
Bahasa Indonesia: become
Interlingue: become
italiano: become
ಕನ್ನಡ: become
қазақша: become
kurdî: become
Latina: become
latviešu: become
lietuvių: become
Limburgs: become
magyar: become
Malagasy: become
മലയാളം: become
မြန်မာဘာသာ: become
Nederlands: become
日本語: become
norsk: become
ភាសាខ្មែរ: become
polski: become
português: become
română: become
русский: become
Simple English: become
suomi: become
svenska: become
தமிழ்: become
తెలుగు: become
ไทย: become
ᏣᎳᎩ: become
Türkçe: become
українська: become
اردو: become
Tiếng Việt: become
中文: become