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[bih-hoof] /bɪˈhuf/
noun, plural behooves
[bih-hoovz] /bɪˈhuvz/ (Show IPA)
use; advantage; benefit:
The money was spent for his own behoof.
Origin of behoof
before 1000; Middle English behove, Old English behōf profit, need; cognate with Dutch behoef, German Behuf Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for behoof
Historical Examples
  • “Nay, I would not have you peril your life for my behoof,” she replied, with a smile.

    The Grateful Indian W.H.G. Kingston
  • If ye do well, to your own behoof will ye do it; and if ye do evil, against yourselves will ye do it.

    Pearls of Thought Maturin M. Ballou
  • Even the chapel-service has been brightened up for their behoof.

    Mystic London: Charles Maurice Davies
  • If sages were ever wise in their own behoof, I might have foreseen all this.

    The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • I could wish therefore, that, for their benefit and behoof, this circumstance were omitted.

  • Government is not for the behoof of rulers, but of the ruled also.

    A Defence of Virginia Robert L. Dabney
  • His soul does not appear to have been riven by a consciousness of sin in this behoof.

  • She could almost believe that he had been specially made and destined for her behoof.

    Rachel Ray

    Anthony Trollope
  • This is why I have moulded and drilled you, polished and ripened you, for my own behoof.

  • She had, as we know, already "worked the Seminary" in behoof of her "policy."

British Dictionary definitions for behoof


noun (pl) -hooves
(rare) advantage or profit
Word Origin
Old English behōf; related to Middle High German behuof something useful; see behove
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for behoof

c.1200, "use, benefit, advantage;" Old English had bihoflic "useful," implying *bihof "advantage, utility;" from Proto-Germanic *bi-hof "that which binds, requirement, obligation" (cf. Old Frisian bihof "advantage," Dutch behoef, Middle High German bihuof "useful thing," German Behuf "benefit, use, advantage"). In the common Germanic compound, the first element, likely intensive, is cognate with be- and the second with Old English hof, past tense of hebban "to raise" (see heave (v.)). The original sense is perhaps, then, "taking up (for oneself)."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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