be·​come | \bi-ˈkəm, bē-\
became\bi-​ˈkām, 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


come, get, go, grow, run, turn, wax

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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

In America, a lot of people have become royal obsessed in the last few years. Alyse Whitney, Glamour, "Vanessa Hudgens Watched the Royal Wedding To Get Into Character for The Princess Switch," 21 Nov. 2018 But regardless of whether that’s the case, Democrats have become the party of #MeToo, and with that comes the responsibility of taking issues like this seriously. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Democrats won 6 more state governments. New Jersey shows what they can do.," 21 Nov. 2018 In fact, their controversies have become as predictable as their designs. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "Dolce & Gabbana's 'Chinese Chopsticks' Ad Isn't the Only Reason We Should Stop Supporting Them," 21 Nov. 2018 Perhaps the times have become helter-skelter once again. Ben Zimmer, WSJ, "‘Helter-skelter’ Originally Meant a Long Slide Down," 21 Nov. 2018 Internet restrictions have become most severe in the countries that were targeted by US intelligence. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "The Snowden Legacy, part one: What’s changed, really?," 21 Nov. 2018 Smart hotels in China that are created through partnerships with tech giants like Baidu and Alibaba have also become increasingly common over the past year. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "A WeChat-powered hotel in China lets you check in, enter your room, and get breakfast through your phone," 21 Nov. 2018 Between Meals Some Background Named after King George III, George Town was the first British settlement in what would become Malaysia. Fuchsia Dunlop, Condé Nast Traveler, "Penang is Asia's Next Great Foodie City," 15 Nov. 2018 In addition to shifts toward multigenerational living, with nearly 11 million older adults living in households where at least two generations are present, seniors have become increasingly concentrated. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Senior housing: Older Americans face affordability, accessibility challenges," 14 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for become

Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for become

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

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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 \
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

Comments on become

What made you want to look up become? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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