verb /bI'kVm/ past tense became /bi'keIm/ past participle become
1 (linking verb) to begin to be something, or to develop in a particular way: He became King at the age of 17. | After the death of her father she became the richest woman in the world. | The weather became warmer. | We soon became acclimatized to the warmer weather. | These constant delays are becoming a bit of a bore. | She became increasingly anxious about her husband's strange behaviour. | He withdrew from the competition when it became clear that he stood no chance of winning.
2 (transitive not in progressive) formal to suit someone or be suitable for them: This sort of behaviour hardly becomes a person in your position.
3 what has become of...?/whatever will become of...? used to ask what has happened to someone, especially when you have not seen them for a long time, or what will happen to someone that you are worried about: Whatever will become of Sam when his wife dies?
USAGE NOTE: BECOME WORD CHOICE become, get, turn, go, come Become and get can be used with most types of adjective to describe changes in people and things. Become is more common in writing, and get in spoken English, especially where a quick change is involved: The sky became/got cloudy. | Crime is becoming more widespread. | It became clear that he was lying. | It gets dark early now. | I'm getting wet standing here. | Your dinner's getting cold. When things change colour, turn can be used, or less formally go (especially if the change does not last long). Compare: Jonathan turned/went pale when he heard the news. | It's that time of year when the leaves go/turn golden. Go can also be used where someone's mind or body changes for the worse: He went crazy/blind/deaf/bald (but He fell sick/ill). Go is used in a similar meaning with some things: The meat's gone bad. | Everything went wrong/haywire. But in other situations turn is used: The milk's turned/gone sour. | The situation turned nasty. Come is used only in very few expressions where something gets better: It came right in the end. | All my dreams have come true (NOT become/get here). Otherwise people use become or get again: He eventually got better. GRAMMAR Become is never followed by an infinitive though come can be: After a while I came to like Chicago (NOT ...became to like...).

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Become — Be*come , v. i. [imp. {Became}; p. p. {Become}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Becoming}.] [OE. bicumen, becumen, AS. becuman to come to, to happen; akin to D. bekomen, OHG.a piqu[ e]man, Goth. biquiman to come upon, G. bekommen to get, suit. See {Be }, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • become — [bē kum′, bikum′] vi. became, become, becoming [ME bicumen < OE becuman: see BE & COME] 1. to come to be [to become ill] 2. to grow to be; change or develop into by growth [the tadpole becomes a frog] vt …   English World dictionary

  • Become — Be*come , v. t. 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. [1913 Webster] It becomes me so to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • become — ► VERB (past became; past part. become) 1) begin to be. 2) turn into. 3) (become of) happen to. 4) (of clothing) look good when worn by (someone). 5) be appropriate to …   English terms dictionary

  • become — (v.) O.E. becuman happen, come about, also meet with, arrive, from P.Gmc. *bikweman become (Cf. Du. bekomen, O.H.G. biqueman obtain, Ger. bekommen, Goth. biquiman). A compound of BE (Cf. be ) and COME (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • become — [v1] evolve into alter to, assume form of, be converted to, be reduced to, be reformed, be remodeled, be transformed into, change into, come, come to be, convert, develop into, emerge as, eventually be, grow into, incline, mature, metamorphose,… …   New thesaurus

  • become — I (arise) verb befall, come about, come into being, come into existence, commence, ensue, germinate, happen, materialize, occur, proceed, result, succeed II (develop) verb adorn, alter, arise, befit, behoove, benefit, beseem, change into, come to …   Law dictionary

  • become — be|come W1S1 [bıˈkʌm] v past tense became [ ˈkeım] past participle become [: Old English; Origin: becuman to come to, become , from cuman to come ] 1.) [linking verb] to begin to be something, or to develop in a particular way ▪ George became… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • become */*/*/ — UK [bɪˈkʌm] / US verb Word forms become : present tense I/you/we/they become he/she/it becomes present participle becoming past tense became UK [bɪˈkeɪm] / US past participle become Summary: Become can be used in the following ways: as a linking… …   English dictionary

  • become of — HAPPEN TO, be the fate of, be the lot of, overtake; poetic/literary befall, betide. → become * * * be ˈcome of [transitive] [present tense I/you/we/they become of he/she/it becomes of …   Useful english dictionary

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