be ‧ come S1 W1 /bɪˈkʌm/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense became /-ˈkeɪm/, past participle become )
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: becuman 'to come to, become' , from cuman 'to come' ]
1 . [linking verb] to start to have a feeling or quality, or to start to develop into something:
The weather became warmer.
Slowly my eyes became accustomed to the darkness.
Helen became increasingly anxious about her husband’s strange behaviour.
Pollution from cars has become a major problem.
2 . [linking verb] to start to have a job or position:
George became king at the age of 54.
When did you first want to become a teacher?
3 . [transitive not in progressive] formal to be suitable for someone, or to look attractive on them SYN suit :
Blue really becomes her.
Don’t try to be clever – it doesn’t become you.
4 . what became of ...?/whatever will become of ...? used to ask what has happened to someone or something, especially when you have not seen them for a long time, or what will happen to someone that you are worried about:
What became of those Chinese vases that Mum used to have?
Whatever will become of Sam when his wife dies?
• • •
▪ become to start to have a feeling or quality, or to start to develop into something:
His parents became worried when he was late home from school.
Violent crime is becoming a major problem.
She became more confident when she joined a drama group.
▪ get to start to have a feeling or quality. Get is less formal than become and is much more commonly used in everyday English:
I was getting very tired.
Make sure you’re home before it gets dark.
▪ go to become something – used about things becoming a different colour, or things or people becoming worse in some way:
Her hair was going grey.
He went blind.
I think I’m going mad.
▪ turn to become something – used about things becoming a different colour, or the weather or people’s behaviour changing:
The water had turned bright green.
The weather is expected to turn cold again.
He suddenly turned nasty.
▪ grow especially written to gradually become something:
People were growing impatient.
The rich grew richer.
▪ come undone/loose/apart to become undone, loose, or separated into pieces:
The screws had come loose.
▪ change into something to become something completely different:
The caterpillar changed into a beautiful butterfly.