Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

become

 - definition
 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb British English pronunciation: become /bɪˈkʌm/ 
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theybecome
he/she/itbecomes
present participlebecoming
past tensebecame
past participlebecome
Become can be used in the following ways:
as a linking verb (followed by an adjective or noun complement): The problem became worse.He became president in 2001.
as a transitive verb: Blue is a colour that becomes you.
 
  1. 1
    to start to be something [linking verb]
    1. a.
      to change and start to be something different, or to start to have a different quality

      The sky became dark.

      People were becoming increasingly angry about the delay.

      Christine decided to become a writer.

      São Paulo has become the largest city in South America.

    2. b.
      to begin to have a particular job or position of authority, or to begin to be a member of a group

      In 1603 James became King of England.

      It was Mr Berry who encouraged Christine to become a writer.

      The following year Easton became an American citizen.

    3. c.
      to begin to be used for a different purpose

      What sort of building was it before it became a museum?

  2. 2
    [transitive] formal if something becomes you, it is suitable for you or it makes you more attractive

    That red dress really becomes her – it goes with her hair.

phrasal verbs

dark pool

a method of financial trading in which share prices are hidden and not openly available to the public

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

bottom line

the amount of money that a business makes or loses

Open Dictionary

subtweet

to post a tweet, usually a negative one, that mentions a person without using the @ sign, so that they will not see the message on their Twitter feed …

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog