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come to - definition and synonyms

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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.

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phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theycome to
he/she/itcomes to
present participlecoming to
past tensecame to
past participlecome to
  1. 1
    [transitive] come to someone if something comes to you, you think of it or remember it

    The idea came to me when we were on holiday.

    Her name will come to me in a minute.

    it comes to someone that:

    It came to her that it was foolish to expect him to help.

  2. 2
    [transitive] come to something to reach a particular total when everything is added together

    With salaries and overtime the bill came to £752,000.

  3. 3
    [transitive] come to something same as come on to

    I’ll come on to some of the effects of this policy in a moment.

  4. 4
    [transitive] come to something to reach a particular state or point, especially one that is bad or unpleasant

    If it comes to war, NATO forces will be stronger in the air.

    1. a.
      used for emphasizing how bad a situation is and how shocked or upset you are about it
      something has come to this:

      So, has our relationship come to this? Two people with nothing to say to each other.

      what something is coming to:

      You wonder what the world is coming to when young children are dying of hunger.

      it comes to something when:

      It comes to something when you don’t even remember your own mother’s birthday.

  5. 5
    [transitive] come to someone to become someone’s property, especially because the previous owner has died
  6. 6
    [transitive] come to something to finally achieve a particular level of success
    come to nothing/something/not much etc:

    His teachers all agreed that he wouldn’t come to anything much.

  7. 7
    when it comes to (doing) something when the subject being discussed is a particular thing

    When it comes to holidays, I prefer something lazy.

    When it comes to writing letters, she’s hopeless.

See also main entry: come
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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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