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 craft beer world is continuing to reel after a wave of allegations of workplace misconduct began to surface on social media in May — what's now become known as craft beer's #MeToo moment. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 June 2021 MacDonough’s job to decide whether the provisions in the bill follow what’s become known as the Byrd Rule. Alex Thomas, The New Republic, 3 June 2021 She was also drawn to the playful, millennial aesthetic it's become known for. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 3 June 2021 All aspects suggested that this mountain lion was unstoppable and had become possessed with the intent of taking her much-loved doggy. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 3 June 2021 Across the back, there are soft, adjustable straps to help the weight become evenly distributed on the shoulders. Chris Hachey, BGR, 3 June 2021 Beacon Hills would become known for its shocking twists, and the same could be said for the shoot, which featured one particularly dramatic moment. Samantha Highfill,, 3 June 2021 Early emotional experiences become embedded in the architecture of children's brains. USA Today, 3 June 2021 Jonathan Van Ness has become known for exuding an infectious positive energy, in addition to some iconic one-liners. Glenn Garner,, 2 June 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

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Become.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 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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