1. simple past tense of come.


  1. a slender, grooved bar of lead for holding together the pieces of glass in windows of latticework or stained glass.

verb (used without object), came, come, com·ing.

  1. to approach or move toward a particular person or place: Come here. Don’t come any closer!
  2. to arrive by movement or in the course of progress: The train from Boston is coming.
  3. to approach or arrive in time, in succession, etc.: Christmas comes once a year. I’ll come to your question next.
  4. to move into view; appear.
  5. to extend; reach: The dress comes to her knees.
  6. to take place; occur; happen: Success comes to those who strive.
  7. to occur at a certain point, position, etc.: Tuesday comes after Monday. Her aria comes in the third act.
  8. to be available, produced, offered, etc.: Toothpaste comes in a tube.
  9. to occur to the mind: The idea just came to me.
  10. to befall: They promised no harm would come to us.
  11. to issue; emanate; be derived: Peaches come from trees. Good results do not come from careless work.
  12. to arrive or appear as a result: This comes of carelessness.
  13. to enter or be brought into a specified state or condition: to come into popular use.
  14. to do or manage; fare: She’s coming along well with her work.
  15. to enter into being or existence; be born: The baby came at dawn.
  16. to have been a resident or to be a native of (usually followed by from): She comes from Florida.
  17. to become: His shoes came untied.
  18. to seem to become: His fears made the menacing statues come alive. The work will come easy with a little practice.
  19. (used in the imperative to call attention or to express impatience, anger, remonstrance, etc.): Come, that will do!
  20. to germinate, as grain.
  21. Informal. to have an orgasm.

verb (used with object), came, come, com·ing.

  1. Chiefly British. to do; perform; accomplish.
  2. Informal. to play the part of: to come the grande dame.


  1. Slang: Vulgar. semen.

Verb Phrases

  1. come about,
    1. to come to pass; happen.
    2. tack.
  2. come across,
    1. Also come find or encounter, especially by chance: I came across this picture when I was cleaning out the attic. We suddenly came upon a deer while walking in the woods.
    2. make good one’s promise, as to pay a debt, do what is expected, etc.: to come across with the rent.
    3. to be understandable or convincing: The moral of this story doesn’t come across.
    4. make a particular impression; comport oneself: She comes across as a very cold person.
  3. come again, (used as a request to repeat a statement).
  4. come along,
    1. to accompany someone, attend as part of a group: He didn’t come along on the last trip.
    2. to proceed, develop, or advance sufficiently or successfully: The new project was coming along quite smoothly.
    3. to appear; emerge as a factor or possibility: Even if another job comes along this summer, I won’t take it.
  5. come around/round,
    1. to recover consciousness; revive.
    2. to change one’s opinion, decision, etc., especially to agree with another’s.
    3. to visit: Come around more often.
    4. to cease being angry, hurt, etc.
  6. come at,
    1. to arrive at; attain.
    2. to rush at; attack: The watchdog came at the intruder.
  7. come back,
    1. to return, especially to one’s memory: It all comes back to me now.
    2. to return to a former position or state.
    3. to talk back; retort: to come back with a witty remark.
  8. come between, to cause to be estranged or antagonized: Love of money came between the brothers.
  9. come by, to obtain; acquire: How did he ever come by so much money?
  10. come down,
    1. to lose wealth, rank, etc.; be reduced in circumstances or status.
    2. to be handed down by tradition or inheritance.
    3. to be relayed or passed along from a source of higher rank or authority: The general’s orders will come down tomorrow.
    4. take place; happen.
    5. lose one’s euphoria, enthusiasm, or especially the effects of a drug high.
  11. come down on/upon,
    1. to voice one’s opposition to: She came down on increased spending and promised to cut the budget.
    2. to reprimand; scold: He came down on me for getting to work late.
  12. come down with, to become afflicted with (an illness): Many people came down with the flu this year.
  13. come forward, to offer one’s services; present oneself; volunteer: When the president called for volunteers, several members of our group came forward.
  14. come in,
    1. to enter.
    2. to arrive.
    3. to come into use or fashion.
    4. to begin to produce or yield: The oil well finally came in.
    5. to be among the winners: His horse came in and paid 5 to 1.
    6. to finish in a race or any competition, as specified: Our bobsled team came in fifth.
  15. come in for, to receive; get; be subjected to: This plan will no doubt come in for a great deal of criticism.
  16. come into,
    1. to acquire; get.
    2. to inherit: He came into a large fortune at the age of 21.
  17. come on,
    1. Also come meet or find unexpectedly.
    2. to make progress; develop; flourish.
    3. to appear on stage; make one’s entrance.
    4. to begin; appear: The last showing will be coming on in a few minutes.
    5. Informal.(used chiefly in the imperative) to hurry; begin: Come on, before it rains!
    6. Informal.(as an entreaty or attempt at persuasion) please: Come on, go with us to the movies.
    7. try to make an impression or have an effect; present oneself: She comes on a bit too strong for my taste.
    8. make sexual advances: a Lothario who was always coming on with the women at the office.
  18. come on to, Slang. to make sexual advances to.
  19. come out,
    1. to be published; appear.
    2. to become known; be revealed.
    3. to make a debut in society, the theater, etc.
    4. to end; terminate; emerge: The fight came out badly, as both combatants were injured.
    5. to make more or less public acknowledgment of being homosexual.
  20. come out for, to endorse or support publicly: The newspaper came out for the reelection of the mayor.
  21. come out with,
    1. to speak, especially to confess or reveal something.
    2. to make available to the public; bring out: The publisher is coming out with a revised edition of the textbook.
  22. come over,
    1. to happen to; affect: What’s come over him?
    2. to change sides or positions; change one’s mind: He was initially against the plan, but he’s come over now.
    3. to visit informally: Our neighbors came over last night and we had a good chat.
  23. come round,
    1. come(def 29).
    2. Nautical.(of a sailing vessel) to head toward the wind; come to.
  24. come through,
    1. to endure or finish successfully.
    2. do as expected or hoped; perform; succeed: We knew you’d come through for us.
    3. experience religious conversion.
  25. come to,
    1. to recover consciousness.
    2. to amount to; total.
    3. take the way off a vessel, as by bringing her head into the wind or anchoring.
  26. come under,
    1. to fit into a category or classification: This play comes under the heading of social criticism.
    2. to be the province or responsibility of: This matter comes under the State Department.
  27. come up,
    1. to be referred to; arise: The subject kept coming up in conversation.
    2. to be presented for action or discussion: The farm bill comes up for consideration next Monday.
  28. come upon. come(defs 26a, 41a).
  29. come up to,
    1. to approach; near: A panhandler came up to us in the street.
    2. to compare with as to quantity, excellence, etc.; match; equal: This piece of work does not come up to your usual standard.
  30. come up with, to produce; supply: Can you come up with the right answer?

  1. come and go, to occur briefly or suddenly but never for long; appear and disappear.
  2. come down on the side of, to support or favor: I want to come down on the side of truth and justice.
  3. come home, Nautical.
    1. (of an anchor) to begin to drag.
    2. (of an object) to move when hauled upon.
  4. come off, Informal.
    1. to happen; occur.
    2. to reach the end; acquit oneself: to come off with honors.
    3. to be given or completed; occur; result: Her speech came off very well.
    4. to succeed; be successful: The end of the novel just doesn’t come off.
  5. come off it, Informal. to stop being wrong, foolish, or pretentious; be truthful or honest: Come off it—we know you’re as poor as the rest of us.
  6. come to pass, to happen; occur.
  7. come what may, no matter what may happen; regardless of any opposition, argument, or consequences: Come what may, he will not change his mind.
  8. where one is coming from, Slang. where the source of one’s beliefs, attitudes, or feelings lies: It’s hard to understand where your friend is coming from when he says such crazy things.


  1. the past tense of come


  1. a grooved strip of lead used to join pieces of glass in a stained-glass window or a leaded light

verb comes, coming, came or come (mainly intr)

  1. to move towards a specified person or placecome to my desk
  2. to arrive by movement or by making progress
  3. to become perceptiblelight came into the sky
  4. to occur in the course of timeChristmas comes but once a year
  5. to exist or occur at a specific point in a seriesyour turn comes next
  6. to happen as a resultno good will come of this
  7. to originate or be derivedgood may come of evil
  8. to occur to the mindthe truth suddenly came to me
  9. to extend or reachshe comes up to my shoulder
  10. to be produced or offeredthat dress comes in red only
  11. to arrive at or be brought into a particular state or conditionyou will soon come to grief; the new timetable comes into effect on Monday
  12. (foll by from) to be or have been a resident or native (of)I come from London
  13. to becomeyour wishes will come true
  14. (tr; takes an infinitive) to be given awarenessI came to realize its enormous value
  15. (of grain) to germinate
  16. slang to have an orgasm
  17. (tr) British informal to play the part ofdon’t come the fine gentleman with me
  18. (tr) British informal to cause or producedon’t come that nonsense again
  19. (subjunctive use) when (a specified time or event has arrived or begun)she’ll be sixteen come Sunday; come the revolution, you’ll be the first to go
  20. as…as they come the most characteristic example of a class or type
  21. come again? informal what did you say?
  22. come and (imperative or dependent imperative) to move towards a particular person or thing or accompany a person with some specified purposecome and see what I’ve found
  23. come clean informal to make a revelation or confession
  24. come good informal to recover and perform well after a bad start or setback
  25. come it slang
    1. to pretend; act a part
    2. to exaggerate
    3. (often foll by over)to try to impose (upon)
    4. to divulge a secret; inform the police
  26. come to light to be revealed
  27. come to light with Australian and NZ informal to find or produce
  28. come to pass archaic to take place
  29. how come? informal what is the reason that?


  1. an exclamation expressing annoyance, irritation, etccome now!; come come!

noun taboo, slang

  1. semen

past tense of come.


Old English cuman “come, approach, land; come to oneself, recover; arrive; assemble” (class IV strong verb; past tense cuom, com, past participle cumen), from Proto-Germanic *kwem- (cf. Old Saxon cuman, Old Frisian kuma, Middle Dutch comen, Dutch komen, Old High German queman, German kommen, Old Norse koma, Gothic qiman), from PIE root *gwa-, *gwem- “to go, come” (cf. Sanskrit gamati “he goes,” Avestan jamaiti “goes,” Tocharian kakmu “come,” Lithuanian gemu “to be born,” Greek bainein “to go, walk, step,” Latin venire “to come”).

The substitution of Middle English -o- for Old English -u- before -m-, -n-, or -r- was a scribal habit before minims to avoid misreading the letters in the old style handwriting, which jammed letters. The practice similarly transformed some, monk, tongue, worm. Modern past tense form came is Middle English, probably from Old Norse kvam, replacing Old English cuom.

Remarkably productive with prepositions (NTC’s “Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs” lists 198 combinations); consider the varied senses in come to “regain consciousness,” come over “possess” (as an emotion), come at “attack,” come on (interj.) “be serious,” and come off “occur.” For sexual senses, see cum.

In addition to the idioms beginning with come

  • come about
  • come across
  • come again?
  • come alive
  • come along
  • come a long way
  • come and get it
  • come and go
  • come apart at the seams
  • come around
  • come at
  • come back
  • come between
  • come by
  • come clean
  • come down
  • come down on
  • come down the pike
  • come down to
  • come down with
  • comedy of errors
  • come forward
  • come from
  • come from behind
  • come full circle
  • come hell or high water
  • come home to roost
  • come in
  • come in for
  • come in from the cold
  • come in handy
  • come in out of the rain, know enough to
  • come into
  • come of
  • come of age
  • come off
  • come off it
  • come on
  • come one’s way
  • come on in
  • come on strong
  • come on to
  • come out
  • come out ahead
  • come out for
  • come out in the wash, it will
  • come out of
  • come out of nowhere
  • come out of the closet
  • come out with
  • come over
  • come round
  • come through
  • come to
  • come to a halt
  • come to a head
  • come to an end
  • come to blows
  • come to grief
  • come to grips with
  • come to life
  • come to light
  • come to mind
  • come to no good
  • come to nothing
  • come to one’s senses
  • come to pass
  • come to terms
  • come to that
  • come to the point
  • come to the same thing
  • come to think of it
  • come true
  • come under
  • come unglued
  • come up
  • come up against
  • come up in the world
  • come upon
  • come up roses
  • come up to
  • come up with
  • come what may
  • come with the territory

also see:

  • bigger they come
  • cross a bridge when one comes to it
  • dream come true
  • easy come, easy go
  • first come, first served
  • full circle, come
  • get one’s comeuppance
  • (come) to the point
  • how come
  • if the mountain won’t come to Muhammad
  • if worst comes to worst
  • Johnny-come-lately
  • know enough to come in out of the rain
  • make a comeback
  • of age, come
  • on the scene, come
  • out of nowhere, come
  • push comes to shove
  • ship comes in, when one’s
  • till the cows come home
  • what goes around comes around
  • when it comes down to

Also see undercoming.

52 queries 0.606