[ bih-hoof ]
/ bɪˈhuf /

noun, plural be·hooves [bih-hoovz] /bɪˈhuvz/.

use; advantage; benefit: The money was spent for his own behoof.

Nearby words

  1. behmenites,
  2. behn,
  3. behold,
  4. beholden,
  5. beholder,
  6. behoove,
  7. behove,
  8. behrens,
  9. behrens, peter,
  10. behring

Origin of behoof

before 1000; Middle English behove, Old English behōf profit, need; cognate with Dutch behoef, German Behuf


[ bih-hoov ]
/ bɪˈhuv /
(chiefly in impersonal use)

verb (used with object), be·hooved, be·hoov·ing.

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), be·hooved, be·hoov·ing.

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) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for behooves

British Dictionary definitions for behooves


/ (bɪˈhuːf) /

noun plural -hooves

rare advantage or profit

Word Origin for behoof

Old English behōf; related to Middle High German behuof something useful; see behove

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

Word Origin and History for behooves
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper