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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for become


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The duties of lieutenant governor entail presiding over the Senate and taking over as head of the state’s executive branch if the governor resigns or become incapacitated. Washington Post, "Virginia GOP begins counting votes to decide nominee for lieutenant governor," 11 May 2021 The most insidious kinds of air pollution are known as Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 - tiny particles one-thirtieth the width of a human hair, which can become lodged in lungs or absorbed into the bloodstream. Sarah Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "Air pollution from farms leads to 17,900 US deaths per year, study finds," 11 May 2021 The work shows, for the first time, how individual neurons in multiple regions of the brain respond as they become flooded with the sedative, and that their impulses slow by 90 to 95 percent. Max G. Levy, Wired, "This Is Your Brain Under Anesthesia," 11 May 2021 The woman floating in the river had become separated from her boyfriend earlier that evening as the two floated together down the Chattahoochee, Smith said. Henri Hollis, ajc, "Restaurant diner, employee rescue struggling woman from Chattahoochee," 11 May 2021 Corporate leadership dominated by older managers who become set in their ways fails to exploit new technologies, new business models and new market opportunities. Andy J. Semotiuk, Forbes, "More Immigration Best Solution To U.S. Economic Decline And Continued World Leadership," 10 May 2021 The pilot had become disoriented by the poor visibility and crashed into the side of a hill, killing everyone on board. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, "Sheriff ordered Kobe Bryant crash photos deleted. A captain objected, calling it improper," 10 May 2021 Pieces made by independent watchmakers now routinely appear at auction, and the category has become dominated by F.P. Journe. Carol Besler, Robb Report, "Three One-of-a-Kind Patek Philippe Watches Will Lead Christie’s Next Big Timepiece Auction," 10 May 2021 Another factor likely in this case is that ponderosa pine is not well adapted to our coastal climate and can become stressed, attracting sequoia pitch moth. oregonlive, "Ask an expert: Stressed ponderosa pine may attract sequoia pitch moth," 9 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about become

Time Traveler for become

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for become

Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Become.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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?

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!