be·​come | \ bi-ˈkəm How to pronounce become (audio) , bē- \
became\ bi-​ˈkām How to pronounce became (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 social media app, which allows users to share short videos, has become extremely popular, particularly during recent coronavirus lockdowns. Fox News, "Peter Navarro on TikTok: China 'use these social media apps to track you and surveil you and monitor your movements'," 2 Aug. 2020 The following year, Portland State launched what would become a highly respected Black Studies Department, the first in the Pacific Northwest. oregonlive, "Portland State’s first Black student-body president tried to ban football in 1969, advocated for ‘experimental college’," 31 July 2020 Instantly this became not mourning, but a welcome ray of hope in what has become a summer of stiflingly bad news. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "How Obama and Rev. Warnock made John Lewis' funeral a call to action — and remarkable TV," 31 July 2020 The cartoon, by Tommy Siegel, illustrates what has become a reality for many people during the pandemic. Washington Post, "The Internet wants to keep you ‘doom-scrolling.’ Here’s how to break free.," 30 July 2020 Like the rest of Greater Cincinnati now, Booker waits to see what will become of his high school season. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, "Andrew 'Bam' Booker of Winton Woods commits to Maryland," 30 July 2020 Here are a few things to know about what could become 2020′s second hurricane in the Atlantic: 1. Leigh Morgan, al, "Tropical Storm Isaias 2020: 5 things to know about storm that could threaten more of the U.S.," 30 July 2020 As part of the agreement, officials said, most Department of Homeland Security agents would move off what have become the front lines around the courthouse and then withdraw from Portland entirely if the nightly rioting ceased., "Despite Evidence, Park Police Chief Says ‘Tremendous Restraint’ Was Used in Lafayette Clash," 29 July 2020 Licklider himself was researching what would become his 1965 book Libraries of the Future, which predicted that by the year 2000 all literature would be online, and searchable, with the massive task of cataloguing eased by weak AI. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Now this is 5G worth paying for," 10 July 2020

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

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Become.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce become (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on become

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for become

Spanish Central: Translation of become

Nglish: Translation of become for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of become for Arabic Speakers

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