be·​come bi-ˈkəm How to pronounce become (audio)
became bi-ˈkām How to pronounce become (audio)
; become; becoming

intransitive verb

: to come into existence
: to come to be
become sick
They both became teachers.
: 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

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 According to psychology experts, this has become a serious problem. Thor Benson, WIRED, 23 Nov. 2023 Rock has become a very obscure kind of label to call something. Pino Gagliardi, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Nov. 2023 However, his message of inclusion and his denial of hell has become a model, and his impact in gospel music continues to inspire new generations of artists. Meagan Jordan, Rolling Stone, 23 Nov. 2023 Since its founding in 2019, AEW has become the second-largest wrestling promotion in the world, a challenger to WWE. Hector Diaz, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2023 Since its handover, Macau has become the world’s gambling capital. Patrick Frater, Variety, 23 Nov. 2023 From her figure-hugging gowns to her perilously high platform heels—not to mention the designer handbags with eye-popping price tags—her look has become familiar over the course of her 20-plus years in the spotlight. British Vogue, Glamour, 23 Nov. 2023 The Gaza Strip has become a war zone since Hamas on Oct. 7 conducted a surprise cross-border attack on Israel that killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted more than 200 people as hostages. Juanje Gómez, WSJ, 23 Nov. 2023 Kathie Lee became known for her candor as a parent in the public eye. Emy Lacroix, Peoplemag, 23 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'become.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, to come to, become, from Old English becuman, from be- + cuman to come

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near become

Cite this Entry

“Become.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


be·​come bi-ˈkəm How to pronounce become (audio)
became -ˈkām How to pronounce become (audio) ; become; becoming
: to come or grow to be
a tadpole becomes a frog
the days become shorter as summer ends
: to look well on : suit
her suit becomes her

More from Merriam-Webster on become

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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