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[bih-hoov] /bɪˈhuv/ (chiefly in impersonal use)
verb (used with object), behooved, behooving.
to be necessary or proper for, as for moral or ethical considerations; be incumbent on:
It behooves the court to weigh evidence impartially.
to be worthwhile to, as for personal profit or advantage:
It would behoove you to be nicer to those who could help you.
verb (used without object), behooved, behooving.
Archaic. to be needful, proper, or due:
Perseverance is a quality that behooves in a scholar.
Origin of behoove
before 900; Middle English behoven, Old English behōfian to need (behōf behoof + -ian infinitive suffix)
2. benefit, advantage, serve, better, advance; suit, befit, beseem. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for behoove
  • It would behoove you to go to the doctor before your lungs get trifected.
  • It would behoove everyone to see the truth.
  • If you have to commute at all it would behoove you to be able to use mass transit to get where you're going.
  • It may behoove a few people to remember that news channels do not always air news.
  • Hence, it would behoove people to allow themselves to be entertained and not take the film too seriously.
  • So it would behoove scientific organizations to wring all the value they can out of their budgets.
  • And they said it may behoove him to demonstrate that he departs from his church's position on important issues.
  • Nor did it behoove a responsible official in a normal political and bureaucratic system to offer such opinions.
  • If so, it would certainly behoove you to start a program of diet and exercise to help you take off those extra pounds.
  • In the interest of avoiding confusion and improving clarity, it would behoove us to say so directly.
British Dictionary definitions for behoove


(transitive; impersonal) (archaic) to be necessary or fitting for: it behoves me to arrest you
Word Origin
Old English behōfian; related to Middle Low German behōven
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for behoove

Old English behofian "to have need of, have use for," verbal form of the ancient compound word represented by behoof.

Historically, it rimes with move, prove, but being now mainly a literary word, it is generally made to rime with rove, grove, by those who know it only in books. [OED]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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