Did you know?

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

come - definition and synonyms


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.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb come pronunciation in British English /kʌm/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlecoming
past tensecame
past participlecome
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to move or travel to the place where you are
    come across/along/down/into etc:

    A tall woman in black was coming across the lawn.

    We’ve got people coming to dinner tonight.

    come here/home/nearer/downstairs etc:

    Billy, I want you to come here at once!

    come and do something:

    Come and tell me all about it.

    come to do something:

    She’s got someone coming this morning to fix the computer.

    come running/flying/rushing/crashing etc somewhere:

    All the glasses came crashing onto the floor.

    come by train/car/plane etc:

    We flew into Paris and came the rest of the way by train.

    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      [intransitive] to go somewhere with someone

      I’m off now – are you coming?

      come with:

      We’re all going into town and we thought you’d like to come with us.

    2. b.
      [transitive] to move or travel a particular distance to where you are

      Have you come a long way?

      They’ve come about 10 miles from the next village.

      Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [intransitive] to reach a particular state
    come to a decision/conclusion/view etc:

    We came to the conclusion that she must be telling the truth.

    come to an end/stop/halt/standstill:

    All good things must come to an end.

    come to power/prominence:

    When the Conservatives came to power they continued these policies.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] to start doing something
    come into existence/operation/effect etc:

    The new changes will come into effect next month.

    come into view/sight (=to start to be seen):

    As we turned the corner, the top of the Eiffel Tower came into view.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] to reach a particular point or level
    come as high/low/far etc as something:

    The road comes as far as the post office and then turns into a dirt track.

    come up/down to something:

    The water came up to my shoulders.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] if something such as a letter or message comes, you receive it

    The news could not have come at a better time.

  6. 6
    [intransitive] to happen

    Police investigated him for three years before the breakthrough came.

    come as a shock/surprise/relief/disappointment/reminder etc (=be a shock etc):

    It came as no surprise that she left the company.

    This news has come as a disappointment to local business leaders.

    coming soon:

    Coming soon, the new smash-hit comedy starring Julia Roberts.

    come in twos/threes etc (=two/three etc of them happen at the same time):

    Instances of bad luck are supposed to come in threes.

  7. 7
    [intransitive] to be sold or produced
    come in:

    The long-sleeved dress comes in yellow and blue.

  8. 8
    [intransitive] to be in a particular position in a series or list or at the end of a race
    come before/after:

    July comes before August.

    come first/second/third etc:

    She came first in a national poetry competition.

    My children always come first (=are the most important thing for me).

  9. 9
    [intransitive] impolite to have an orgasm (=reach the state of greatest sexual excitement)


to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

add a word


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
Macmillan learn live love play