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


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

The move is another step in Fred and Cindy Warmbier’s fight to get justice as North Korea’s handling of their son’s case becomes a flash point in the broader geopolitical drama playing out between the United States and Kim Jong Un’s regime. Marisa Iati, Washington Post, "Otto Warmbier’s family is suing for a North Korean coal ship seized by U.S. officials," 7 July 2019 Which means the Pride Parade is becoming a family affair. Willie Brown,, "Democrats’ dream ticket is Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg," 6 July 2019 The buzz, the celebrities in the audience, the anticipation was a sign that the NBA has become a 365-day-a-year sport. Gary Washburn,, "After Zion shakes NBA world, earthquake takes over," 6 July 2019 Mr Trump briefly crossed the demarcation line and entered the North, becoming the first serving American president to set foot in the country. The Economist, "Politics this week," 6 July 2019 But at a time when the fashion industry is becoming more inclusive, thoughtful, and socially responsible in its approach, some designers are starting to re-examine what modern luxury looks like. Channing Hargrove,, "As Couture Week Changes For The Better, A Look At The Prettiest Dresses So Far," 5 July 2019 Here was a man whose sensational murder trial was a significant harbinger of our era, in which hard news has merged seamlessly with entertainment, and lived experience has become an ongoing reality show. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "O.J. Simpson Has a Little Bit of Getting Even to Do on Twitter," 5 July 2019 After most rocket launches, the fairing halves are left to plummet back to Earth, where the ocean becomes their graveyard. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "SpaceX shares vibrant footage from its first-ever nose cone recovery," 5 July 2019 Cerenity is receiving $132,000 in grant money to help 18 employees become licensed practical nurses. Christopher Magan, Twin Cities, "With skilled workers hard to find, MN program helps companies train the workers they have," 5 July 2019

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

9 Jul 2019

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 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

Comments on become

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