be·​hoove bi-ˈhüv How to pronounce behoove (audio)
behooved; behooving

transitive verb

: to be necessary, proper, or advantageous for
it behooves us to go

intransitive verb

: to be necessary, fit, or proper

Examples of behoove in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That behooved the Fed to take a close look at all the banks. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2023 Such disproportionate displays may especially behoove the big-bodied: Already massive moose would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between themselves and another male that’s just an inch taller at shoulder height, but a four-inch difference in antlers is far easier to spot. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 2 Aug. 2022 Khudobin’s initial recovery timeline that was announced in March put him on track to be ready for training camp, and making use of his $3.333 million cap hit would behoove the Stars. Dallas News, 18 June 2022 Does it really behoove IndyCar to turn away willing and paying participants? Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, 3 Apr. 2018 Lawrence — and anyone who operates on a serial-monogamy MO — should know that STIs are out there, and prevention behooves all of us. Maria Del Russo, Glamour, 8 Mar. 2018 All of which behooves the rebuilding Brewers – who took a big step forward with 86 victories in 2017 – to primarily build a solid pitching staff from within their own ranks. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 Dec. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'behoove.' 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 behoven, from Old English behōfian, from behōf

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near behoove

Cite this Entry

“Behoove.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


be·​hoove bi-ˈhüv How to pronounce behoove (audio)
behooved; behooving
: to be necessary, fitting, or proper for
such behavior ill behooves you
it behooves a good citizen to obey the law

More from Merriam-Webster on behoove

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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