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From Middle English becomen, bicumen, from Old English becuman ‎(to come, approach, arrive, enter, meet with, fall in with; happen, befall; befit), from Proto-Germanic *bikwemaną ‎(to come around, come about, come across, come by), equivalent to be- ‎(about, around) +‎ come. Cognate with Scots becum ‎(to come, arrive, reach a destination), North Frisian bekommen, bykommen ‎(to come by, obtain, receive), West Frisian bikomme ‎(to come by, obtain, receive), Dutch bekomen ‎(to come by, obtain, receive), German bekommen ‎(to get, receive, obtain), Swedish bekomma ‎(to receive, concern), Gothic 𐌱𐌹𐌵𐌹𐌼𐌰𐌽 ‎(biqiman, to come upon one, befall). Sense of "befit, suit" due to influence from Middle English cweme, icweme, see queem.



become ‎(third-person singular simple present becomes, present participle becoming, simple past became or (nonstandard) becomed, past participle become or (rare, dialectal) becomen)

  1. (intransitive, obsolete) To arrive, come (to a place). [9th-18thc.]
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter ii, in Le Morte Darthur, book XVIII:
      & thenne the noble knyghte sire Launcelot departed with ryghte heuy chere sodenly / that none erthely creature wyste of hym / nor where he was become / but sir Bors
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      But, madam, where is Warwick then become?
  2. (copulative) To come about; happen; come into being; arise. [from 12thc.]
    What became of him after he was let go?
    It hath becomen so that many a man had to sterve.
  3. (copulative) begin to be; turn into. [from 12thc.]
    She became a doctor when she was 25.
    The weather will become cold after the sun goes down.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, in The Celebrity:
      The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again; for, even after she had conquered her love for the Celebrity, the mortification of having been jilted by him remained.
    • 2012 May 13, Alistair Magowan, “Sunderland 0-1 Man Utd”, in BBC Sport:
      Then, as the Sunderland fans' cheers bellowed around the stadium, United's title bid was over when it became apparent City had pinched a last-gasp winner to seal their first title in 44 years.
    • 2013 May-June, William E. Conner, “An Acoustic Arms Race”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 206-7:
      Earless ghost swift moths become “invisible” to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close (less than half a meter) above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them.
  4. (transitive) To be proper for; to befit. [from 13thc.]
    • 1892, Ambrose Bierce, “The Applicant,” in The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Volume II: In the Midst of Life (Tales of Soldiers and Civilians), New York: Gordian Press, 1966,[1]
      He was hatted, booted, overcoated, and umbrellaed, as became a person who was about to expose himself to the night and the storm on an errand of charity []
    • 1930, Duff Cooper, Talleyrand, Folio Society, 2010, p.7:
      His ordination [] enabled him to be independent of his parents, and to afford a manner of living which became his rank rather than his calling.
  5. (transitive) Of an adornment, piece of clothing etc.: to look attractive on (someone). [from 14thc.]
    That dress really becomes you.





Most common English words before 1923: body · point · letter · #347: become · became · second · United