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

These and other problems face Iván Duque, who became president last August. The Economist, "Can Colombia’s President Iván Duque find his feet?," 22 June 2019 Research shows that a significant portion of people who become addicted to opioids started with a prescription after surgery. STAT, "While addiction crisis raged, many surgeons overprescribed opioids, analysis shows," 21 June 2019 Purdy's recruiting took off much faster than Brock, who became a national sensation as a true freshman last season at Iowa State after given the starting quarterback job. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Perry quarterback Chubba Purdy commits to Louisville Cardinals," 21 June 2019 The Athletic and Stadium's Shams Charania writes the Pistons are receiving four future second-round picks and cash in exchange for the final pick of Round 1, which became USC wing Kevin Porter Jr. The trade replenishes the Pistons' future drafts. J.l. Kirven, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons reportedly trade out of No. 30, get future picks from Cavs," 21 June 2019 President of basketball operations Danny Ainge used two of the team’s three first-round picks on Indiana’s Romeo Langford and Tennessee’s Grant Williams, who could perhaps become rotation players in the near future. Gary Washburn,, "NBA Draft represents a fresh start for the Celtics after a season to forget," 21 June 2019 Lisa Kelly of Guilford was one of the progressive Democrats who became politically active in response to Trump’s election in 2016. Daniela Altimari,, "As Nancy Pelosi comes to Hartford, Connecticut congressional delegation pressured to support impeachment," 21 June 2019 Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the daughter of a lying bigot who became infamous for her work as deputy White House press secretary and later White House press secretary for another lying bigot, will leave the White House at the end of June. Michael Arceneaux, Essence, "Opinion: Sarah Sanders Will Probably Become Governor Of Arkansas," 20 June 2019 The group vocally opposed Moore’s previous candidacy for the Senate seat, which became available, last time around, when Jeff Sessions was appointed to be U.S. Attorney General. Charles Bethea, The New Yorker, "Roy Moore Is Running for the Senate Again, and Alabama Republicans Are Not Happy," 20 June 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

25 Jun 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

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


showing courage and determination

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