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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for behooved
Historical Examples
  • They had followed him in some manner, perhaps by chance, and it behooved Mm now to lie close.

    The Scouts of the Valley Joseph A. Altsheler
  • This woman was evidently quizzing him, so it behooved him to repay her in kind.

    The Panchronicon Harold Steele Mackaye
  • Who and what he was, it behooved His Excellency to discover.

    Diane of the Green Van Leona Dalrymple
  • I knew not that it behooved me to be upon my oath, being in the presence of the Governor of Rome.

    Aurelian William Ware
  • Andrews, her nurse—as behooved one employed in a house about which there "was talk" bore herself with a lofty and exclusive air.

    Robin Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • He was not especially drawn to Felix, but felt that it behooved him to be polite.

    Chester Rand Horatio Alger, Jr
  • He liked pool, but with a condition in mathematics to work off it behooved him to do some studying.

    On Your Mark! Ralph Henry Barbour
  • It behooved me then to approach him, but to approach him in the shadow of the boat-house.

    The Millionaire Baby Anna Katharine Green
  • Nevertheless they knew that it behooved them to be cordial and to accept the situation with good grace.

  • It behooved him now to reach Grant as soon as he could with his news.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
Word Origin and History for behooved



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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