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See also: behøve


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English behoven, from Old English behōfian (to need), from behōf (advantage, behoof, profit; need). Cognate with Swedish behöva and Dutch behoeven.



behove (third-person singular simple present behoves, present participle behoving, simple past and past participle behoved)

  1. To suit; to befit.
    • 1803, Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Benjamin Rush April 21.
      It behoves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others; or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.
    • 1936, Alfred Edward Housman, More Poems, II., lines 11-12:
      No fire-faced prophet brought me word
      Which way behoved me go.
    • 2001 January 16, Sir Raymond Whitney, in the House of Commons Hansard Debates for 16 Jan 2001 (pt 23),[1]
      It behoves the Government to take note of that.
    • 2003 November 3, Tariq Ali, “Resistance is the first step towards Iraqi independence”,[2] The Guardian,
      Nor does it behove western commentators whose countries are occupying Iraq to lay down conditions for those opposing it.