• synonyms


[bih-hoov](chiefly in impersonal use)
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verb (used with object), be·hooved, be·hoov·ing.
  1. to be necessary or proper for, as for moral or ethical considerations; be incumbent on: It behooves the court to weigh evidence impartially.
  2. to be worthwhile to, as for personal profit or advantage: It would behoove you to be nicer to those who could help you.
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verb (used without object), be·hooved, be·hoov·ing.
  1. Archaic. to be needful, proper, or due: Perseverance is a quality that behooves in a scholar.
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Origin of behoove

before 900; Middle English behoven, Old English behōfian to need (behōf behoof + -ian infinitive suffix)


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


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.

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]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper