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[kuhm] /kʌm/
verb (used without object), came, come, coming.
to approach or move toward a particular person or place:
Come here. Don't come any closer!
to arrive by movement or in the course of progress:
The train from Boston is coming.
to approach or arrive in time, in succession, etc.:
Christmas comes once a year. I'll come to your question next.
to move into view; appear.
to extend; reach:
The dress comes to her knees.
to take place; occur; happen:
Success comes to those who strive.
to occur at a certain point, position, etc.:
Tuesday comes after Monday. Her aria comes in the third act.
to be available, produced, offered, etc.:
Toothpaste comes in a tube.
to occur to the mind:
The idea just came to me.
to befall:
They promised no harm would come to us.
to issue; emanate; be derived:
Peaches come from trees. Good results do not come from careless work.
to arrive or appear as a result:
This comes of carelessness.
to enter or be brought into a specified state or condition:
to come into popular use.
to do or manage; fare:
She's coming along well with her work.
to enter into being or existence; be born:
The baby came at dawn.
to have been a resident or to be a native of (usually followed by from):
She comes from Florida.
to become:
His shoes came untied.
to seem to become:
His fears made the menacing statues come alive. The work will come easy with a little practice.
(used in the imperative to call attention or to express impatience, anger, remonstrance, etc.):
Come, that will do!
to germinate, as grain.
Informal. to have an orgasm.
verb (used with object), came, come, coming.
Chiefly British. to do; perform; accomplish.
Informal. to play the part of:
to come the grande dame.
Slang: Vulgar. semen.
Verb phrases
come about,
  1. to come to pass; happen.
  2. Nautical. to tack.
come across,
  1. Also, come upon. to find or encounter, especially by chance:
    I came across this picture when I was cleaning out the attic. We suddenly came upon a deer while walking in the woods.
  2. Informal. to make good one's promise, as to pay a debt, do what is expected, etc.:
    to come across with the rent.
  3. to be understandable or convincing:
    The moral of this story doesn't come across.
  4. Informal. to make a particular impression; comport oneself:
    She comes across as a very cold person.
come again, (used as a request to repeat a statement).
come along,
  1. to accompany someone, attend as part of a group:
    He didn't come along on the last trip.
  2. to proceed, develop, or advance sufficiently or successfully:
    The new project was coming along quite smoothly.
  3. to appear; emerge as a factor or possibility:
    Even if another job comes along this summer, I won't take it.
come around/round,
  1. to recover consciousness; revive.
  2. to change one's opinion, decision, etc., especially to agree with another's.
  3. to visit:
    Come around more often.
  4. to cease being angry, hurt, etc.
come at,
  1. to arrive at; attain.
  2. to rush at; attack:
    The watchdog came at the intruder.
come back,
  1. to return, especially to one's memory:
    It all comes back to me now.
  2. to return to a former position or state.
  3. to talk back; retort:
    to come back with a witty remark.
come between, to cause to be estranged or antagonized:
Love of money came between the brothers.
come by, to obtain; acquire:
How did he ever come by so much money?
come down,
  1. to lose wealth, rank, etc.; be reduced in circumstances or status.
  2. to be handed down by tradition or inheritance.
  3. to be relayed or passed along from a source of higher rank or authority:
    The general's orders will come down tomorrow.
  4. Slang. to take place; happen.
  5. Slang. to lose one's euphoria, enthusiasm, or especially the effects of a drug high.
come down on/upon,
  1. to voice one's opposition to:
    She came down on increased spending and promised to cut the budget.
  2. to reprimand; scold:
    He came down on me for getting to work late.
come down with, to become afflicted with (an illness):
Many people came down with the flu this year.
come forward, to offer one's services; present oneself; volunteer:
When the president called for volunteers, several members of our group came forward.
come in,
  1. to enter.
  2. to arrive.
  3. to come into use or fashion.
  4. to begin to produce or yield:
    The oil well finally came in.
  5. to be among the winners:
    His horse came in and paid 5 to 1.
  6. to finish in a race or any competition, as specified:
    Our bobsled team came in fifth.
come in for, to receive; get; be subjected to:
This plan will no doubt come in for a great deal of criticism.
come into,
  1. to acquire; get.
  2. to inherit:
    He came into a large fortune at the age of 21.
come on,
  1. Also, come upon. to meet or find unexpectedly.
  2. to make progress; develop; flourish.
  3. to appear on stage; make one's entrance.
  4. to begin; appear:
    The last showing will be coming on in a few minutes.
  5. Informal. (used chiefly in the imperative) to hurry; begin:
    Come on, before it rains!
  6. Informal. (as an entreaty or attempt at persuasion) please:
    Come on, go with us to the movies.
  7. Slang. to try to make an impression or have an effect; present oneself:
    She comes on a bit too strong for my taste.
  8. Slang. to make sexual advances:
    a Lothario who was always coming on with the women at the office.
come on to, Slang. to make sexual advances to.
come out,
  1. to be published; appear.
  2. to become known; be revealed.
  3. to make a debut in society, the theater, etc.
  4. to end; terminate; emerge:
    The fight came out badly, as both combatants were injured.
  5. to make more or less public acknowledgment of being homosexual.
come out for, to endorse or support publicly:
The newspaper came out for the reelection of the mayor.
come out with,
  1. to speak, especially to confess or reveal something.
  2. to make available to the public; bring out:
    The publisher is coming out with a revised edition of the textbook.
come over,
  1. to happen to; affect:
    What's come over him?
  2. to change sides or positions; change one's mind:
    He was initially against the plan, but he's come over now.
  3. to visit informally:
    Our neighbors came over last night and we had a good chat.
come round,
  1. come (def 29).
  2. Nautical. (of a sailing vessel) to head toward the wind; come to.
come through,
  1. to endure or finish successfully.
  2. Informal. to do as expected or hoped; perform; succeed:
    We knew you'd come through for us.
  3. Informal. to experience religious conversion.
come to,
  1. to recover consciousness.
  2. to amount to; total.
  3. Nautical. to take the way off a vessel, as by bringing her head into the wind or anchoring.
come under,
  1. to fit into a category or classification:
    This play comes under the heading of social criticism.
  2. to be the province or responsibility of:
    This matter comes under the State Department.
come up,
  1. to be referred to; arise:
    The subject kept coming up in conversation.
  2. to be presented for action or discussion:
    The farm bill comes up for consideration next Monday.
come upon. come (defs 26a, 41a).
come up to,
  1. to approach; near:
    A panhandler came up to us in the street.
  2. to compare with as to quantity, excellence, etc.; match; equal:
    This piece of work does not come up to your usual standard.
come up with, to produce; supply:
Can you come up with the right answer?
come and go, to occur briefly or suddenly but never for long; appear and disappear.
come down on the side of, to support or favor:
I want to come down on the side of truth and justice.
come home, Nautical.
  1. (of an anchor) to begin to drag.
  2. (of an object) to move when hauled upon.
come off, Informal.
  1. to happen; occur.
  2. to reach the end; acquit oneself:
    to come off with honors.
  3. to be given or completed; occur; result:
    Her speech came off very well.
  4. to succeed; be successful:
    The end of the novel just doesn't come off.
come off it, Informal. to stop being wrong, foolish, or pretentious; be truthful or honest:
Come off it—we know you're as poor as the rest of us.
come to pass, to happen; occur.
come what may, no matter what may happen; regardless of any opposition, argument, or consequences:
Come what may, he will not change his mind.
where one is coming from, Slang. where the source of one's beliefs, attitudes, or feelings lies:
It's hard to understand where your friend is coming from when he says such crazy things.
Origin of come
before 900; Middle English comen, Old English cuman; cognate with Dutch komen, German kommen, Gothic qiman, Old Norse koma, Latin venīre (see avenue), Greek baínein (see basis), Sanskrit gácchati (he) goes
2. leave, depart. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for come out
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Say, you come out with me some night jest in your workin' clothes.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • "come out of that," he shouted, and made his way through the company as fast as he could.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • What if she had come out with him to take a walk; he could not have taken her into one of them!

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • He had come out in the hall, and had closed the door into the parlor behind him.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • When you come out, we'll settle who's to cook and who to wash dishes.

British Dictionary definitions for come out

come out

verb (intransitive, adverb)
to be made public or revealed: the news of her death came out last week
to make a debut in society or on stage
  1. Also come out of the closet. to declare openly that one is a homosexual
  2. to reveal or declare any habit or practice formerly concealed
(mainly Brit) to go on strike
to declare oneself: the government came out in favour of scrapping the project
to be shown visibly or clearly: you came out very well in the photos
to yield a satisfactory solution: these sums just won't come out
to be published: the paper comes out on Fridays
(foll by in) to become covered with: you're coming out in spots
(foll by with) to speak or declare openly: you can rely on him to come out with the facts


verb (mainly intransitive) comes, coming, came, come
to move towards a specified person or place: come to my desk
to arrive by movement or by making progress
to become perceptible: light came into the sky
to occur in the course of time: Christmas comes but once a year
to exist or occur at a specific point in a series: your turn comes next
to happen as a result: no good will come of this
to originate or be derived: good may come of evil
to occur to the mind: the truth suddenly came to me
to extend or reach: she comes up to my shoulder
to be produced or offered: that dress comes in red only
to arrive at or be brought into a particular state or condition: you will soon come to grief, the new timetable comes into effect on Monday
(foll by from) to be or have been a resident or native (of): I come from London
to become: your wishes will come true
(transitive; takes an infinitive) to be given awareness: I came to realize its enormous value
(of grain) to germinate
(slang) to have an orgasm
(transitive) (Brit, informal) to play the part of: don't come the fine gentleman with me
(transitive) (Brit, informal) to cause or produce: don't come that nonsense again
(subjunctive use) when (a specified time or event has arrived or begun): she'll be sixteen come Sunday, come the revolution, you'll be the first to go
as…as they come, the most characteristic example of a class or type
(informal) come again?, what did you say?
(imperative or dependent imperative) come and, to move towards a particular person or thing or accompany a person with some specified purpose: come and see what I've found
(informal) come clean, to make a revelation or confession
(informal) come good, to recover and perform well after a bad start or setback
(slang) come it
  1. to pretend; act a part
  2. to exaggerate
  3. (often foll by over) to try to impose (upon)
  4. to divulge a secret; inform the police
come to light, to be revealed
(Austral & NZ, informal) come to light with, to find or produce
(archaic) come to pass, to take place
(informal) how come?, what is the reason that?
an exclamation expressing annoyance, irritation, etc: come now!, come come!
noun (taboo, slang)
Word Origin
Old English cuman; related to Old Norse koma, Gothic qiman, Old High German queman to come, Sanskrit gámati he goes
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 come out



Old English cuman "come, approach, land; come to oneself, recover; arrive; assemble" (class IV strong verb; past tense cuom, com, past participle cumen), from Proto-Germanic *kwem- (cf. Old Saxon cuman, Old Frisian kuma, Middle Dutch comen, Dutch komen, Old High German queman, German kommen, Old Norse koma, Gothic qiman), from PIE root *gwa-, *gwem- "to go, come" (cf. Sanskrit gamati "he goes," Avestan jamaiti "goes," Tocharian kakmu "come," Lithuanian gemu "to be born," Greek bainein "to go, walk, step," Latin venire "to come").

The substitution of Middle English -o- for Old English -u- before -m-, -n-, or -r- was a scribal habit before minims to avoid misreading the letters in the old style handwriting, which jammed letters. The practice similarly transformed some, monk, tongue, worm. Modern past tense form came is Middle English, probably from Old Norse kvam, replacing Old English cuom.

Remarkably productive with prepositions (NTC's "Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs" lists 198 combinations); consider the varied senses in come to "regain consciousness," come over "possess" (as an emotion), come at "attack," come on (interj.) "be serious," and come off "occur." For sexual senses, see cum.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for come out

come out

verb phrase

  1. To declare oneself; take a position •The original action was that of declaring a religious conversion: Did she come out for the Equal Rights Amendment? (1840s+)
  2. To end; eventuate: How'd that whole deal come out? (1896+)
  3. To acknowledge one's homosexuality; come out of the closet: Their eldest son had ''come out'' (1970s+ Homosexuals)



(also cum) Semen, or any fluid secreted at orgasm (1920s+)


To have an orgasm; ejaculate semen (1650+)

Related Terms

how come, what goes around comes around

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with come out

come out

Become known, be discovered, as in The whole story came out at the trial. [ c. 1200 ]
Be issued or brought out, as in My new book is coming out this month. [ Late 1500s ]
Make a formal debut in society or on the stage, as in In New York, debutantes come out in winter. [ Late 1700s ]
End up, result, as in Everything came out wrong. [ Mid-1800s ]
Also see: come out ahead
come out for or against. Declare oneself publicly in favor of or opposed to someone or something, as in The governor came out for a tax cut, or Many senators came out against the bill. [ Late 1800s ]
Also,come out of the closet. Reveal that one is homosexual, as in The military has specific policies regarding soldiers who come out of the closet while enlisted. [ Mid-1900s ]
Also see the subsequent entries beginning with come out.


also see under:
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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