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[bih-hoov] /bɪˈhuv/ (chiefly in impersonal use)
verb (used with object), behooved, behooving.
to be necessary or proper for, as for moral or ethical considerations; be incumbent on:
It behooves the court to weigh evidence impartially.
to be worthwhile to, as for personal profit or advantage:
It would behoove you to be nicer to those who could help you.
verb (used without object), behooved, behooving.
Archaic. to be needful, proper, or due:
Perseverance is a quality that behooves in a scholar.
Origin of behoove
before 900; Middle English behoven, Old English behōfian to need (behōf behoof + -ian infinitive suffix)
2. benefit, advantage, serve, better, advance; suit, befit, beseem. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for behoove
Historical Examples
  • It will behoove France to see that her entrances are well guarded.

    A Little Girl in Old Quebec Amanda Millie Douglas
  • Under these circumstances, I think, it does not behoove us to be too severe.

    A Little Traitor to the South Cyrus Townsend Brady
  • But not another word about it: It does not behoove me to judge the past, for it does not belong to me.

  • It does not behoove the maestro to stand at the side of his pupil.

  • "It does not behoove me to advise my sagacious and prudent husband," she said.

  • Will it not behoove me to cultivate all my virtues and eradicate all my defects?

    Arthur Mervyn Charles Brockden Brown
  • It does not behoove us, who neither believe in their right to prohibit free assembly, nor to permit it, to appeal to them.

  • Now as heretofore it will behoove the Editor of these pages, were it never so unsuccessfully, to do his endeavor.

    Sartor Resartus Thomas Carlyle
  • The old man had two favorite words—behoove and emit—but behoove was evidently his choice.

    Europe Revised Irvin S. Cobb
  • In all ways, it behooved men to quit simulacra and return to fact; cost what it might, that did behoove to be done.

    Heroes and Hero Worship Thomas Carlyle
Word Origin and History for behoove

Old English behofian "to have need of, have use for," verbal form of the ancient compound word represented by behoof.

Historically, it rimes with move, prove, but being now mainly a literary word, it is generally made to rime with rove, grove, by those who know it only in books. [OED]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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