come in

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From Middle English com in, imperative form of Middle English incomen (to come in; enter), from Old English incuman (to come in; enter), from Proto-Germanic *inkwemaną (to come in; enter), equivalent to come +‎ in. Compare Dutch kom in (come in), singular imperative form of inkomen (to come in; enter), German einkommen (to come in; enter). See also income, incoming.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /kʌm ˈɪn/, [kʰɐm ˈɪn]
  • (US) IPA(key): /kʌm ˈɪn/, [kʰʌm ˈɪn]


come in (third-person singular simple present comes in, present participle coming in, simple past came in, past participle come in)

  1. To enter.
    Please come in and look around.
    • 2016, VOA Learning English (public domain)
      Come in. … Well, Anna, welcome. ― Thank you.
  2. To arrive.
    That flight just came in.
  3. To become relevant, applicable, or useful.
    The third stage of the plan is where Team B comes in.
    • 1889, Thomas Huxley, in Popular Science Monthly; part of the "Agnosticism controversy", Agnosticism: A Rejoinder
      As I have shown, "infidel" merely means somebody who does not believe what you believe yourself, and therefore Dr. Wace has a perfect right to call, say, my old Egyptian donkey-driver, Nooleh, and myself, infidels, just as Nooleh and I have a right to call him an infidel. The ludicrous aspect of the thing comes in only when either of us demands that the two others should so label themselves.
  4. To become available.
    Blueberries will be coming in next month.
  5. (of a broadcast, such as radio or television) To have a strong enough signal to be able to be received well.
    Most of the neighbors get 14 channels, but only two of them come in well here.
  6. (music) To join or enter; to begin playing with a group.
    They started together, but the drummer came in late.
  7. (often imperative) To begin transmitting.
    This is Charlie 456 to base. Come in, base. Do you read me?
  8. To function in the indicated manner.
    Four-wheel drive sure came in handy while the bridge was washed out.
  9. (of a fugitive or a person in hiding) To surrender; to turn oneself in.
    • 2006, G. D. McCrary, Guerrillas in the Midst, page 352:
      Every police officer and agent in New York City is gunning for you. If you come in now, I can guarantee your safety.
  10. (intransitive) To give in; to yield.
  11. To finish a race or similar competition in a particular position, such as first place, second place, or the like.
    The horse I had bet on came in fourth in the second race.
  12. To finish a race or similar competition in first place.
    My horse came in in the first race.
  13. (of the tide) To rise.
    The tide will come in in an hour.
    Antonym: go out
  14. To become fashionable.
    Orange blouses are coming in!
    • 2003, Phil Thornton, Casuals: The Story of a Terrace Cult:
      During the summer of 1984 there had been a backlash against labels in Portsmouth and a more simple style came in.
  15. To fully develop.
    • 2022 May 11, Sandra E. Garcia, “Butt Lifts Are Booming. Healing Is No Joke.”, in The New York Times Magazine[1]:
      “Everyone says that you should wait, because your body doesn’t fully come in until you’re like 30, and I’m 20 years old, and why am I going to wait until I’m 30 to be snatched?” Catera Northup, an exotic dancer from Rhode Island, said.

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