verb (used without object), came, come, com·ing.
verb (used with object), came, come, com·ing.
- to come to pass; happen.
- Nautical.to tack.
- 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.
- Informal.to make good one's promise, as to pay a debt, do what is expected, etc.: to come across with the rent.
- to be understandable or convincing: The moral of this story doesn't come across.
- Informal.to make a particular impression; comport oneself: She comes across as a very cold person.
- to accompany someone, attend as part of a group: He didn't come along on the last trip.
- to proceed, develop, or advance sufficiently or successfully: The new project was coming along quite smoothly.
- to appear; emerge as a factor or possibility: Even if another job comes along this summer, I won't take it.
- to recover consciousness; revive.
- to change one's opinion, decision, etc., especially to agree with another's.
- to visit: Come around more often.
- to cease being angry, hurt, etc.
- to arrive at; attain.
- to rush at; attack: The watchdog came at the intruder.
- to return, especially to one's memory: It all comes back to me now.
- to return to a former position or state.
- to talk back; retort: to come back with a witty remark.
- to lose wealth, rank, etc.; be reduced in circumstances or status.
- to be handed down by tradition or inheritance.
- to be relayed or passed along from a source of higher rank or authority: The general's orders will come down tomorrow.
- Slang.to take place; happen.
- Slang.to lose one's euphoria, enthusiasm, or especially the effects of a drug high.
- to voice one's opposition to: She came down on increased spending and promised to cut the budget.
- to reprimand; scold: He came down on me for getting to work late.
- to enter.
- to arrive.
- to come into use or fashion.
- to begin to produce or yield: The oil well finally came in.
- to be among the winners: His horse came in and paid 5 to 1.
- to finish in a race or any competition, as specified: Our bobsled team came in fifth.
- to acquire; get.
- to inherit: He came into a large fortune at the age of 21.
- Also come upon.to meet or find unexpectedly.
- to make progress; develop; flourish.
- to appear on stage; make one's entrance.
- to begin; appear: The last showing will be coming on in a few minutes.
- Informal.(used chiefly in the imperative) to hurry; begin: Come on, before it rains!
- Informal.(as an entreaty or attempt at persuasion) please: Come on, go with us to the movies.
- Slang.to try to make an impression or have an effect; present oneself: She comes on a bit too strong for my taste.
- Slang.to make sexual advances: a Lothario who was always coming on with the women at the office.
- to be published; appear.
- to become known; be revealed.
- to make a debut in society, the theater, etc.
- to end; terminate; emerge: The fight came out badly, as both combatants were injured.
- to make more or less public acknowledgment of being homosexual.
- to speak, especially to confess or reveal something.
- to make available to the public; bring out: The publisher is coming out with a revised edition of the textbook.
- to happen to; affect: What's come over him?
- to change sides or positions; change one's mind: He was initially against the plan, but he's come over now.
- to visit informally: Our neighbors came over last night and we had a good chat.
- come(def 29).
- Nautical.(of a sailing vessel) to head toward the wind; come to.
- to endure or finish successfully.
- Informal.to do as expected or hoped; perform; succeed: We knew you'd come through for us.
- Informal.to experience religious conversion.
- to recover consciousness.
- to amount to; total.
- Nautical.to take the way off a vessel, as by bringing her head into the wind or anchoring.
- to fit into a category or classification: This play comes under the heading of social criticism.
- to be the province or responsibility of: This matter comes under the State Department.
- to be referred to; arise: The subject kept coming up in conversation.
- to be presented for action or discussion: The farm bill comes up for consideration next Monday.
- to approach; near: A panhandler came up to us in the street.
- to compare with as to quantity, excellence, etc.; match; equal: This piece of work does not come up to your usual standard.
- come a long way,
- come about,
- come across,
- come again?,
- come alive
- (of an anchor) to begin to drag.
- (of an object) to move when hauled upon.
- to happen; occur.
- to reach the end; acquit oneself: to come off with honors.
- to be given or completed; occur; result: Her speech came off very well.
- to succeed; be successful: The end of the novel just doesn't come off.
Origin of come
verb comes, coming, came or come (mainly intr)
- to pretend; act a part
- to exaggerate
- (often foll by over)to try to impose (upon)
- to divulge a secret; inform the police
noun taboo, slang
Word Origin for come
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.
come what may
No matter what happens, as in Come what may, I'll be home in time for dinner. This phrase, in slightly different form, come what will, dates from the 16th century and has almost exact equivalents in French, Italian, and German.
In addition to the idioms beginning with come
- come about
- come across
- come again?
- come alive
- come along
- come a long way
- come and get it
- come and go
- come apart at the seams
- come around
- come at
- come back
- come between
- come by
- come clean
- come down
- come down on
- come down the pike
- come down to
- come down with
- comedy of errors
- come forward
- come from
- come from behind
- come full circle
- come hell or high water
- come home to roost
- come in
- come in for
- come in from the cold
- come in handy
- come in out of the rain, know enough to
- come into
- come of
- come of age
- come off
- come off it
- come on
- come one's way
- come on in
- come on strong
- come on to
- come out
- come out ahead
- come out for
- come out in the wash, it will
- come out of
- come out of nowhere
- come out of the closet
- come out with
- come over
- come round
- come through
- come to
- come to a halt
- come to a head
- come to an end
- come to blows
- come to grief
- come to grips with
- come to life
- come to light
- come to mind
- come to no good
- come to nothing
- come to one's senses
- come to pass
- come to terms
- come to that
- come to the point
- come to the same thing
- come to think of it
- come true
- come under
- come unglued
- come up
- come up against
- come up in the world
- come upon
- come up roses
- come up to
- come up with
- come what may
- come with the territory
- bigger they come
- cross a bridge when one comes to it
- dream come true
- easy come, easy go
- first come, first served
- full circle, come
- get one's comeuppance
- (come) to the point
- how come
- if the mountain won't come to Muhammad
- if worst comes to worst
- know enough to come in out of the rain
- make a comeback
- of age, come
- on the scene, come
- out of nowhere, come
- push comes to shove
- ship comes in, when one's
- till the cows come home
- what goes around comes around
- when it comes down to
Also see undercoming.