intr.v. came(kām), come, com·ing, comes
a. To advance toward the speaker or toward a specified place; approach: Come to me.
b. To advance in a specified manner: The children came reluctantly when I insisted.
a. To make progress; advance: a former drug addict who has come a long way.
b. To fare: How are things coming today? They're coming fine.
a. To reach a particular point in a series or as a result of orderly progression: At last we came to the chapter on ergonomics.
b. To arrive, as in due course: Dawn comes at 5 AM in June.
4. To move into view; appear: The moon came over the horizon.
5. To occur in time; take place: The game will be played tomorrow, come rain or shine.
a. To arrive at a particular result or end: come to an understanding.
b. To arrive at or reach a particular state or condition: Come to your senses!
c. To move or be brought to a particular position: The convoy came to an abrupt halt.
7. To extend; reach: water that came to my waist.
8. To have priority; rank: My work comes first.
9. To happen as a result: This mess comes of your carelessness.
10. To fall to one: No good can come of this.
11. To occur in the mind: A good idea just came to me.
a. To issue forth: A cry came from the frightened child.
b. To be derived; originate: Oaks come from acorns.
c. To be descended: They come from a good family.
d. To be within a given range or spectrum of reference or application: This stipulation comes within the terms of your contract.
13. To be a native or resident: My friend comes from Chicago.
14. To add up to a certain amount: Expenses came to more than income.
a. To become: The knot came loose. This is a dream that has come true.
b. To turn out to be: A good education doesn't come cheap.
16. To be available or obtainable: shoes that come in all sizes.
17. Vulgar Slang To experience orgasm.
n. also cum (kŭm)Phrasal Verbs:
Semen ejaculated during orgasm.
1. To take place; happen.
2. To turn around.
3. Nautical To change tack.
1. To meet or find by chance: came across my old college roommate in town today.
a. To do what is wanted.
b. To pay over money that is demanded: came across with the check.
3. To give an impression: “He comes across as a very sincere, religious individual” (William L. Clay).
1. To make advances to a goal; progress: Things are coming along fine.
2. To go with someone else who takes the lead: I'll come along on the hike.
3. To show up; appear: Don't take the first offer that comes along.
come around (or round)
1. To recover, revive: fainted but soon came around.
2. To change one's opinion or position: You'll come around after you hear the whole story.
1. To obtain; get: come at an education through study.
2. To rush at; attack.
1. To return to or regain past success after a period of misfortune.
2. To retort; reply: came back with a sharp riposte.
3. To recur to the memory: It's all coming back to me now.
To cause to be in conflict or estrangement.
1. To gain possession of; acquire: Mortgages are hard to come by.
2. To pay a visit.
1. To lose wealth or position: He has really come down in the world.
a. To pass or be handed down by tradition: customs that come down from colonial times.
b. To be handed down from a higher authority: An indictment finally came down.
3. Slang To happen; occur: What's coming down tonight?
4. Slang To experience diminishing effects of a recreational or hallucinogenic drug.
a. To arrive: Fall clothes will be coming in soon.
b. To become available for use: New weather information just came in.
c. To start producing. Used of an oil well.
2. To arrive among those who finish a contest or race: came in fifth.
3. To perform or function in a particular way: A food processor comes in handy.
4. To reply in a specified manner to a call or signal: The pilot's voice came in loud and clear.
5. To take on a specified role: When editorial review commences, that's where you come in.
To acquire, especially as an inheritance: She came into a fortune on her 21st birthday.
1. To happen; occur: The trip came off on schedule.
2. To acquit oneself: She is sure to come off badly if challenged to explain.
3. To turn out to be successful: a party that came off.
1. To convey a particular personal image: comes on as an old-fashioned reactionary.
2. Slang To show sexual interest in someone: trying to come on to me during the party.
a. To progress or advance in increments: Darkness came on after seven.
b. To begin in small increments or by degrees: Sleet came on after one o'clock.
4. To hurry up; move rapidly. Often used in the imperative: Would you please come on! We'll be late!
5. To stop an inappropriate behavior; abandon a position or an attitude; be obliging. Used chiefly in the imperative: You've used the same feeble excuse for weeks. Come on!
1. To become known: The whole story came out at the trial.
2. To be issued or brought out: The author's new book just came out.
3. To make a formal social debut: She came out at age 18 in New York City.
4. To end up; result: Everything came out wrong.
5. To declare oneself publicly: The governor came out in favor of tax breaks.
6. To reveal one's sexual orientation or gender identity, especially as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
1. To change sides, as in a controversy.
2. To pay a casual visit.
1. To do what is required or anticipated: I asked for their help, and they came through.
a. To become manifest: The parents' tenderness comes through in their facial expressions.
b. To be communicated: The coach's displeasure came through loud and clear.
1. To recover consciousness: The fainting victim came to.
a. To bring the bow into the wind.
b. To anchor.
1. To manifest itself; arise: The question never came up.
2. To rise above the horizon: The sun came up.
3. To rise, as in status or rank: a general who came up from the ranks.
4. To draw near; approach: came up and said hello.
5. To grow up: “If they would have had this Internet stuff when I was coming up, I would have been in Harvard by now” (Shaquille O'Neal).
To discover or meet by accident.
To accompany someone; go along: I'm going to the store; do you want to come with?
come a cropper
To fail utterly.
Used as a request to repeat what was said.
To confess all.
come down on
To punish, oppose, or reprimand severely and often with force: a district attorney who came down hard on drug dealers.
come down to
1. To confront or deal with forthrightly: When you come right down to it, you have to admit I'm correct.
2. To amount to in essence: It comes down to this: the man is a cheat.
come down with
To become sick with (an illness): came down with the flu.
come in for
To receive; be subjected to: came in for harsh criticism.
come into (one's) own
1. To get possession of what belongs to one.
2. To obtain rightful recognition or prosperity: a concert pianist who has at last come into his own.
come off itSlang
To stop acting or speaking foolishly or pretentiously. Often used in the imperative.
come out with
1. To put into words; say: always comes out with the truth.
2. To reveal publicly: came out with a new tax package.
come to blows
To begin a physical fight.
come to grief
To meet with disaster; fail.
come to grips with
To confront squarely and attempt to deal decisively with: “He had to come to grips with the proposition” (Louis Auchincloss).
come to light(or hand)
To be clearly revealed or disclosed: “A further problem ... came to light last summer as a result of post-flight inspections” (John Noble Wilford).
come to terms with
1. To come to accept; become reconciled to: finally came to terms with his lack of talent.
2. To reach mutual agreement: The warring factions have at last come to terms.
To happen as predicted: My fondest dreams have at last come true.
come up against
To encounter, especially a difficulty or major problem.
come up with
To bring forth, discover, or produce: came up with a cure for the disease.
[Middle English comen, from Old English cuman; see gwā- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.