Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To advance toward the speaker or toward a specified place; approach: Come to me.
  • intransitive v. To advance in a specified manner: The children came reluctantly when I insisted.
  • intransitive v. To make progress; advance: a former drug addict who has come a long way.
  • intransitive v. To fare: How are things coming today? They're coming fine.
  • intransitive v. To reach a particular point in a series or as a result of orderly progression: At last we came to the chapter on ergonomics.
  • intransitive v. To arrive, as in due course: Dawn comes at 5 A.M. in June.
  • intransitive v. To move into view; appear: The moon came over the horizon.
  • intransitive v. To occur in time; take place: The game will be played tomorrow, come rain or shine.
  • intransitive v. To arrive at a particular result or end: come to an understanding.
  • intransitive v. To arrive at or reach a particular state or condition: Come to your senses!
  • intransitive v. To move or be brought to a particular position: The convoy came to an abrupt halt.
  • intransitive v. To extend; reach: water that came to my waist.
  • intransitive v. To have priority; rank: My work comes first.
  • intransitive v. To happen as a result: This mess comes of your carelessness.
  • intransitive v. To fall to one: No good can come of this.
  • intransitive v. To occur in the mind: A good idea just came to me.
  • intransitive v. To issue forth: A cry came from the frightened child.
  • intransitive v. To be derived; originate: Oaks come from acorns.
  • intransitive v. To be descended: They come from a good family.
  • intransitive v. To be within a given range or spectrum of reference or application: This stipulation comes within the terms of your contract.
  • intransitive v. To be a native or resident: My friend comes from Chicago.
  • intransitive v. To add up to a certain amount: Expenses came to more than income.
  • intransitive v. To become: The knot came loose. This is a dream that has come true.
  • intransitive v. To turn out to be: A good education doesn't come cheap.
  • intransitive v. To be available or obtainable: shoes that come in all sizes.
  • intransitive v. Vulgar Slang To experience orgasm.
  • n. Vulgar Slang Semen ejaculated during orgasm.
  • come about To take place; happen.
  • come about To turn around.
  • come about Nautical To change tack.
  • come across To meet or find by chance: came across my old college roommate in town today.
  • come across To do what is wanted.
  • come across To pay over money that is demanded: came across with the check.
  • come across To give an impression: "He comes across as a very sincere, religious individual” ( William L. Clay).
  • come along To make advances to a goal; progress: Things are coming along fine.
  • come along To go with someone else who takes the lead: I'll come along on the hike.
  • come along To show up; appear: Don't take the first offer that comes along.
  • around To recover, revive: fainted but soon came around.
  • around To change one's opinion or position: You'll come around after you hear the whole story.
  • come at To obtain; get: come at an education through study.
  • come at To rush at; attack.
  • come back To return to or regain past success after a period of misfortune.
  • come back To retort; reply: came back with a sharp riposte.
  • come back To recur to the memory: It's all coming back to me now.
  • come between To cause to be in conflict or estrangement.
  • come by To gain possession of; acquire: Mortgages are hard to come by.
  • come by To pay a visit.
  • come down To lose wealth or position: He has really come down in the world.
  • come down To pass or be handed down by tradition: customs that come down from colonial times.
  • come down To be handed down from a higher authority: An indictment finally came down.
  • come down Slang To happen; occur: What's coming down tonight?
  • come down Slang To experience diminishing effects of a recreational or hallucinogenic drug.
  • come in To arrive: Fall clothes will be coming in soon.
  • come in To become available for use: New weather information just came in.
  • come in To start producing. Used of an oil well.
  • come in To arrive among those who finish a contest or race: came in fifth.
  • come in To perform or function in a particular way: A food processor comes in handy.
  • come in To reply in a specified manner to a call or signal: The pilot's voice came in loud and clear.
  • come in To take on a specified role: When editorial review commences, that's where you come in.
  • come into To acquire, especially as an inheritance: She came into a fortune on her 21st birthday.
  • come off To happen; occur: The trip came off on schedule.
  • come off To acquit oneself: She is sure to come off badly if challenged to explain.
  • come off To turn out to be successful: a party that came off.
  • come on To convey a particular personal image: comes on as an old-fashioned reactionary.
  • come on Slang To show sexual interest in someone: trying to come on to me during the party.
  • come on To progress or advance in increments: Darkness came on after seven.
  • come on To begin in small increments or by degrees: Sleet came on after one o'clock.
  • come on To hurry up; move rapidly. Often used in the imperative: Would you please come on! We'll be late!
  • come on To stop an inappropriate behavior; abandon a position or an attitude; be obliging. Used chiefly in the imperative: You've used the same feeble excuse for weeks. Come on!
  • come out To become known: The whole story came out at the trial.
  • come out To be issued or brought out: The author's new book just came out.
  • come out To make a formal social debut: She came out at age 18 in New York City.
  • come out To end up; result: Everything came out wrong.
  • come out To declare oneself publicly: The governor came out in favor of tax breaks.
  • come out To reveal that one is a gay man, a lesbian, or a bisexual.
  • come over To change sides, as in a controversy.
  • come over To pay a casual visit.
  • come through To do what is required or anticipated: I asked for their help, and they came through.
  • come through To become manifest: The parents' tenderness comes through in their facial expressions.
  • come through To be communicated: The coach's displeasure came through loud and clear.
  • come to To recover consciousness: The fainting victim came to.
  • come to To bring the bow into the wind.
  • come to To anchor.
  • come up To manifest itself; arise: The question never came up.
  • come up To rise above the horizon: The sun came up.
  • come up To rise, as in status or rank: a general who came up from the ranks.
  • come up To draw near; approach: came up and said hello.
  • come upon To discover or meet by accident.
  • come with Informal To accompany someone; go along: I'm going to the store; do you want to come with?
  • idiom come a cropper To fail utterly.
  • idiom come again Used as a request to repeat what was said.
  • idiom come clean To confess all.
  • idiom come down on To punish, oppose, or reprimand severely and often with force: a district attorney who came down hard on drug dealers.
  • idiom come down to To confront or deal with forthrightly: When you come right down to it, you have to admit I'm correct.
  • idiom come down to To amount to in essence: It comes down to this: the man is a cheat.
  • idiom come down with To become sick with (an illness): came down with the flu.
  • idiom come in for To receive; be subjected to: came in for harsh criticism.
  • idiom come into (one's) own To get possession of what belongs to one.
  • idiom come into (one's) own To obtain rightful recognition or prosperity: a concert pianist who has at last come into his own.
  • idiom come off it Slang To stop acting or speaking foolishly or pretentiously. Often used in the imperative.
  • idiom come out with To put into words; say: always comes out with the truth.
  • idiom come out with To reveal publicly: came out with a new tax package.
  • idiom come to blows To begin a physical fight.
  • idiom come to grief To meet with disaster; fail.
  • idiom come to grips with To confront squarely and attempt to deal decisively with: "He had to come to grips with the proposition” ( Louis Auchincloss).
  • idiom light To be clearly revealed or disclosed: "A further problem . . . came to light last summer as a result of post-flight inspections” ( John Noble Wilford).
  • idiom come to terms To confront squarely and come to understand fully and objectively: "He attempts to come to terms with his own early experiences . . . and with his father, a con man of extravagant dimensions” ( Peter S. Prescott).
  • idiom come to terms To reach mutual agreement: The warring factions have at last come to terms.
  • idiom come true To happen as predicted: My fondest dreams have at last come true.
  • idiom come up against To encounter, especially a difficulty or major problem.
  • idiom come up with To bring forth, discover, or produce: came up with a cure for the disease.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To move from further away to nearer to.
  • v. To arrive
  • v. To appear, to manifest itself.
  • v. To take a position to something else in a sequence.
  • v. (slang) To achieve orgasm; to cum.
  • v. To approach a state of being or accomplishment.
  • v. To take a particular approach or point of view in regard to something.
  • v. To become, to turn out to be.
  • n. Coming, arrival; approach.
  • n. Semen, or female ejaculatory discharge.
  • prep. when an event has occurred or a time has arrived

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Coming.
  • intransitive v. To move hitherward; to draw near; to approach the speaker, or some place or person indicated; -- opposed to go.
  • intransitive v. To complete a movement toward a place; to arrive.
  • intransitive v. To approach or arrive, as if by a journey or from a distance.
  • intransitive v. To approach or arrive, as the result of a cause, or of the act of another.
  • intransitive v. To arrive in sight; to be manifest; to appear.
  • intransitive v. To get to be, as the result of change or progress; -- with a predicate.
  • transitive v. To carry through; to succeed in.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Primarily, to move with the purpose of reaching, or so as to reach, a more or less definite point, usually a point at which the speaker is, was, or is to be at the time spoken of, or at which he is present in thought or imagination; to move to, toward, or with the speaker, or toward the place present to his thought; advance nearer in any manner, and from any distance; draw nigh; approach: as, he comes this way; he is coming; come over and help us.
  • To arrive by movement, or in course of progression, either in space or in time: used absolutely, or
  • with to, on, into, etc., before the point or state reached (equivalent to reach, arrive at), or
  • followed by an infinitive denoting the purpose or object of the movement or arrival: as, he came to the city yesterday; two miles further on you will come to a deep river; he has come to want; the undertaking came to grief; I will come to see you soon; we now come to consider (or to the consideration of) the last point.
  • To move into view; appear; become perceptible or observable; begin to exist or be present; show or put forth: as, the light comes and goes.
  • Specifically To sprout or spring up; acrospire: as, the wheat is beginning to come.
  • To result.
  • To be equal or equivalent in result or effect when taken together or in sum: with to: as, the taxes come to a large sum; the total comes to $81,000; it comes to the same thing.
  • To happen; befall; occur; take place.
  • To become; happen to be; chance to be.
  • To be becoming.
  • In the imperative, interjectionally (often strengthened by repetition or by the addition of other emphatic words): Move along, or take a hand (with me, or the person speaking); unite in going or acting: as, come, come, let us be going!
  • Attend; give heed; take notice; come to the point: used to urge attention to what is to be said, or to the subject in hand.
  • To overflow.
  • [In the colloquial phrases come Friday, come Candlemas, for next Friday, next Candlemas, come is an imperative used conditionally: thus, let Friday come—that is, if or when Friday comes. Certain of the compound tenses of this verb were once regularly and are still frequently formed with the verb be instead of have. See be, 5 . Come, with an adverb or a preposition, enters into a great number of expressions, some highly idiomatic and requiring separate definition, and others which retain more obviously the meaning of their elements. The principal idiomatic phrases are here given.]
  • Approach; come at me: used in defiance or as a challenge: as, come on! I am not afraid of you.
  • To turn; change; come round: as, the wind will come about from west to east; the ship came about.
  • To part or separate; break off: as, the branch came away in my hands.
  • To germinate or sprout; come on: as, the wheat is coming away very well.
  • To obtain; gain; acquire.
  • To be transmitted.
  • Figuratively, to be humbled or abased: as, his pride must come down.
  • Theat., to advance nearer to the footlights: opposed to to go up—that is, to move away from the footlights.
  • Nautical: To drag or slip through the ground: said of an anchor in heaving up. To reach the place intended, as a sail in hoisting, etc.
  • To go to the heart or the feelings; touch the feelings, interest, sympathies, or reason: with to: as, his appeal came home to all.
  • To submit to terms; yield.
  • To appear; begin to be, or be found or observed; especially, be brought into use.
  • To enter as an ingredient or part of a compound thing.
  • To accrue from cultivation, an industry, or otherwise, as profit: as, if the corn comes in well, we shall have a supply without importation; the crops came in light.
  • To calve; foal: said of cows and mares.
  • To acquire by inheritance or bequest: as, to come into an estate.
  • To result from.
  • To escape; get free.
  • To emerge from some undertaking or transaction; issue; get out or away: as, to come off with honor or disgrace.
  • To happen; take place: as, the match comes off on Tuesday.
  • To pay over; settle up.
  • To leave the shore and approach a ship, as persons in a boat; also, similarly, to leave a ship for the shore or for another ship: as, the captain came off in his gig.
  • Be quick! hurry up!
  • To cease (fooling, flattering, chaffing, or humbugging); desist: chiefly in the imperative: as, oh, come off!
  • To result from; come of.
  • To become public; appear; be published; come to knowledge or notice: as, the truth has come out at last; this book has just come out.
  • To express one's self vigorously; throw off reserve and declare one's self; make an impression: as, he came out strong.
  • To be introduced to general society; in a special sense, in England, to be presented at court: as, Miss B—came out last season.
  • To appear after being clouded or obscured: as, the rain stopped and the sun came out.
  • To turn out to be; result from calculation.
  • To be the issue or descendant of.
  • B. With over as a preposition.
  • To pass above or across, or from one side to another; traverse: as, to come over a bridge or a road.
  • To pass from an opposing party, side, or army to that one to which the speaker belongs.
  • To get the better of; circumvent; overcome; wheedle; cajole: as, you won't come over me in that way.
  • To happen in due course; be fulfilled; come to pass.
  • To become favorable or reconciled after opposition or hostility: as, on second thought he will forget his anger and come round.
  • To recover; revive, as after fainting; regain one's former state of health.
  • B. With round or around as a preposition. To wheedle, or get the better of by wheedling.
  • To come to terms; consent; yield.
  • To recover; come round; revive, especially after fainting.
  • Nautical, to turn the head nearer to the wind: as, the ship is coming to.
  • In falconry, to begin to get tame: said of a hawk.
  • B. With to as a preposition.
  • To reach; attain; result in: as, to come to ruin, to good, to luck.
  • To fall or pass to.
  • To amount to: as, the taxes come to a large sum.
  • To become; come to be.
  • To resume the exercise of right reason after a period of folly.
  • To come forward for discussion or action; arise.
  • To grow; spring up, as a plant.
  • Nautical, same as to come to.
  • To come into use or fashion.
  • To occur to.
  • To fall upon; attack or assail.

Etymologies

Middle English comen, from Old English cuman; see gwā- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English comen, cumen, from Old English coman, cuman ("to come, go, happen"), from Proto-Germanic *kwemanan (“to come”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷem-, *gʷém-, *gʷem-ye- (“to come, go, be born”). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • She threw up her hands when she saw me; didn't ask me in, but hollered for Grandfather to come, and _come quick_, which he did.

    Fifteen Years with the Outcast

  • Hear what our Saviour says on this subject; "it must needs be that offences come, but _woe unto that man through whom they come_" -- Witness some fulfilment of this declaration in the tremendous destruction of Jerusalem, occasioned by that most nefarious of all crimes the crucifixion of the Son of God.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 1 of 4

  • Hear what our Saviour says on this subject; "it must needs be that offences come, but _woe unto that man through whom they come_" -- Witness some fulfillment of this declaration in the tremendous destruction of Jerusalem, occasioned by that most nefarious of all crimes the crucifixion of the Son of God.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 1 of 4

  • ‘Oh, you’ve come, ’ he said, addressing a tall old footman of his mother’s, standing at the door; ‘come here.

    Chapter XVII. Part I

  • If the committee has failed to come to a conclusion, strike out of the report all after “and has” and insert “come to no conclusion thereon.

    9. Committees and Boards. 55. Committee of the Whole

  • The apostle Paul cautioned the Thessalonian brethren not to entertain the idea that the advent of Christ was then near at hand, for it could not come until after the great period of apostasy that he predicted; but here is a messenger now claiming that the "_hour of his judgment is come_" -- an event just at hand.

    The Revelation Explained

  • And thenceforth the words of the song that the bullfrog sang were, '_Come, come, in danger come_.'

    Lobo, Rag and Vixen Being The Personal Histories Of Lobo, Redruff, Raggylug & Vixen

  • "Come, come, _come_!" broke in the oldest, sweeping the largest director aside with one finger as he pulled a chair to the table.

    Bunker Bean

  • "Oh, come, _come_!" he begged; "oh, let us get to the house at once!"

    We Ten Or, The Story of the Roses

  • You watch, and if you think he's riding for a fall, you come skinning and tell me, not over the 'phone, _come and tell me_.

    Michael O'Halloran

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Comments

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  • This is now a preposition in constructions such as 'come Thursday', 'come Easter'; in origin a subjunctive use. To be distinguished from the fossilized subjunctive in 'come hell or high water', which is still a clause; 'come Thursday' no longer is.

    August 6, 2008