[ bih-kuhm ]
See synonyms for: becomebecamebecomesbecoming on

verb (used without object),be·came [bih-keym], /bɪˈkeɪm/, be·come, be·com·ing [bih-kuhm-ing]. /bɪˈkʌm ɪŋ/.
  1. to come, change, or grow to be (as specified): He became tired.

  2. to come into being.

verb (used with object),be·came [bih-keym], /bɪˈkeɪm/, be·come, be·com·ing [bih-kuhm-ing]. /bɪˈkʌm ɪŋ/.
  1. to be attractive on; befit in appearance; look well on: That gown becomes you.

  2. to be suitable or necessary to the dignity, situation, or responsibility of: conduct that becomes an officer.

Idioms about become

  1. become of, to happen to; be the fate of: What will become of him?

Origin of become

First recorded before 900; Middle English becumen, Old English becuman “to come about, happen”; cognate with Dutch bekomen, German bekommen, Gothic biqiman. See be-, come

Words Nearby become Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use become in a sentence

  • It will be a busy session; and I want to see if I can't become a useful public man.

    Elster's Folly | Mrs. Henry Wood
  • My son,” said Grabantak one evening to Chingatok, “if we are henceforth to live in peace, why not unite and become one nation?

    The Giant of the North | R.M. Ballantyne
  • You will follow the suite of my daughter to Spain, and you will become the bosom Counsellor of the wife of your Prince?

  • The children of sinners become children of abominations, and they that converse near the houses of the ungodly.

  • I shall soon depart, and practise no more; and my time will become my own—still my own, by no means yours.

    Checkmate | Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

British Dictionary definitions for become


/ (bɪˈkʌm) /

verb-comes, -coming, -came or -come (mainly intr)
  1. (copula) to come to be; develop or grow into: he became a monster

  2. (foll by of; usually used in a question) to fall to or be the lot (of); happen (to): what became of him?

  1. (tr) (of clothes, etc) to enhance the appearance of (someone); suit: that dress becomes you

  2. (tr) to be appropriate; befit: it ill becomes you to complain

Origin of become

Old English becuman to happen; related to Old High German biqueman to come to, Gothic biquiman to appear suddenly

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with become


In addition to the idiom beginning with become

  • become of

, also see idioms beginning with

  • get

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.