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From Middle English behoven, from Old English behōfian (to need), from behōf (advantage, behoof, profit; need). Cognate with Swedish behöva and Dutch behoeven.



behoove (third-person singular simple present behooves, present participle behooving, simple past and past participle behooved)

  1. (US, transitive) To suit; to befit.
  2. (US, transitive) To be necessary for (someone).
    • 2007, Gary D. Schmidt, The Wednesday Wars, page 208:
      “Becomes necessary, Mr. Hupfer,” said Mrs. Baker, “as in ‘It behooves us to raise our hands before we ask a question’.”
  3. (US, transitive) To be in the best interest of; to benefit
    • 1803, Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Benjamin Rush:
      It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others.
    • 2007, Gary D. Schmidt, The Wednesday Wars, page 208:
      “It behooves us to be prepared. We will begin a series of atomic bomb drills ...”

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