be·​come | \ bi-ˈkəm How to pronounce become (audio) , bē- \
became\ bi-​ˈkām How to pronounce become (audio) , bē-​ \; become; becoming

Definition of become

intransitive verb

1a : to come into existence
b : to come to be become sick They both became teachers.
2 : to undergo change or development The pain was becoming more intense.

transitive verb

: to be suitable to seriousness becoming the occasion especially : to be becoming to her clothes become her
become of
: to happen to wondering whatever became of old friends

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Synonyms for become


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Examples of become in a Sentence

Although I've known him for years, we didn't become close friends until recently. She won the election, becoming the first woman to be President of the nation. The book has become quite popular. We became interested in the property last year. The crackers had become stale. It eventually became clear that he had lied. This kind of behavior hardly becomes a person of your age and position.
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Recent Examples on the Web The group, whose management team was already based there, had become acquainted with Music City during recording sessions for its debut full-length album. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Greta Van Fleet opens up on new album: Hard rockers wanted music 'fit to be the score of a fantastic film'," 17 Apr. 2021 By the time Yakubets was indicted, Evil Corp. had become a major ransomware player, security researchers say. Frank Bajak, Star Tribune, "How the Kremlin provides a safe harbor for ransomware," 16 Apr. 2021 Goldstein had become president in January 2015 after serving in a variety of leadership positions covering the U.S. and Asia since joining the company in 1995. Russell Flannery, Forbes, "Las Vegas Sands Is Ready To Wager More On China," 16 Apr. 2021 The salary cap forces every team to make tough choices, often cutting a solid veteran such as Richardson who had become too expensive. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "Does cutting Sheldon Richardson make some sense for the Browns? Terry Pluto," 16 Apr. 2021 By the time Yakubets was indicted, Evil Corp. had become a major ransomware player, security researchers say. NBC News, "How the Kremlin provides a safe harbor for ransomware," 16 Apr. 2021 First, the city tried to evaluate how the problem had become so bad. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'A serious problem': Prairie Home Cemetery's chapel in Waukesha was overrun with mice," 15 Apr. 2021 Kurt’s guitar intros had become somewhat predictable by this point, but when Dave slammed in with what felt like John Bonham playing a hip-hop beat, the song took a different shape. Nabil Ayers, Rolling Stone, "The Night Nirvana Changed Everything," 15 Apr. 2021 In March, The Associated Press called two dozen state legislators who sponsored these bans, and found that few could name any cases where the participation of transgender athletes in youth sports had become a source of contention within the teams. Priya Krishnakumar, CNN, "This record-breaking year for anti-transgender legislation would affect minors the most," 15 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'become.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of become

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for become

Middle English, to come to, become, from Old English becuman, from be- + cuman to come

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Time Traveler for become

Time Traveler

The first known use of become was before the 12th century

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Statistics for become

Last Updated

20 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Become.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for become



English Language Learners Definition of become

: to begin to be or come to be something specified : to begin to have a specified quality
: to look attractive on (someone) : to be flattering to (someone)
: to be suitable for (someone) : to be proper for (someone)


be·​come | \ bi-ˈkəm How to pronounce become (audio) \
became\ -​ˈkām \; become; becoming

Kids Definition of become

1 : to come or grow to be He became president. It's becoming cold. A tadpole becomes a frog.
2 : to be suitable to especially in a pleasing way Look for clothes that become you.
become of
: to happen to What has become of my friend?

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