Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To grow or come to be.
  • intransitive verb To be appropriate or suitable to.
  • intransitive verb To show to advantage; look good with.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To come; arrive; betake one's self; go.
  • To come about; come into being; pass from non-existence; arise.
  • To change or pass from one state of existence to another; come to be something different; come or grow to be: as, the boy rapidly becomes the man.
  • To be fit or proper; be decorous or praiseworthy.
  • To be the fate of; be the end of; be the final or subsequent condition: after what: as, what will become of our commerce? what will become of us? It applies to place as well as condition: What has become of my friend? that is, where is he? as well as, what is his condition?
  • To suit or be suitable to; be congruous with; befit; accord with in character or circumstances; be worthy of or proper to: rarely said of persons.
  • To befit in appearance; suit esthetically; grace or adorn.
  • [Formerly becomed was sometimes used as the past participle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To suit or be suitable to; to be congruous with; to befit; to accord with, in character or circumstances; to be worthy of, or proper for; to cause to appear well; -- said of persons and things.
  • intransitive verb To pass from one state to another; to enter into some state or condition, by a change from another state, or by assuming or receiving new properties or qualities, additional matter, or a new character.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To come; to get.
  • intransitive verb to be the present state or place of; to be the fate of; to be the end of; to be the final or subsequent condition of.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb enhance the appearance of
  • verb undergo a change or development
  • verb enter or assume a certain state or condition
  • verb come into existence

Etymologies

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

[Middle English bicomen, from Old English becuman; see gwā- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English becomen, bicumen, from Old English becuman ("to come, approach, arrive, enter, meet with, fall in with; happen, befall; befit"), from Proto-Germanic *bikwemanan (“to come around, come about, come across, come by”), equivalent to be- (“about, around”) +‎ come. Cognate with Scots becum ("to come, arrive, reach a destination"), North Frisian bekommen, bykommen ("to come by, obtain, receive"), West Frisian bikomme ("to come by, obtain, receive"), Dutch bekomen ("to come by, obtain, receive"), German bekommen ("to get, receive, obtain"), Swedish bekomma ("to receive, concern"), Gothic  (bikwiman, "to come upon one, befall"). Sense of "befit, suit" due to influence from Middle English cweme, icweme, see queem.

Examples

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