[ 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use become in a sentence

  • After about the forty-fifth year it becomes gradually less; after seventy-five years it is about one-half the amount given.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
  • Wheat gives place to Rye about the same time, and the Potato, at first comparatively rare, becomes universal.

    Glances at Europe | Horace Greeley
  • This fluid is then heated, adding crystals of sodium acetate until it becomes perfectly clear.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
  • Thought about in this way, or in any other, the series becomes fixed in mind, and will be hard to forget.

    Assimilative Memory | Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
  • As observation widens and grows finer, the first bald representation becomes fuller and more life-like.

    Children's Ways | James Sully

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.