What is the X in X-mas?


[bih-hoof] /bɪˈhuf/
noun, plural behooves
[bih-hoovz] /bɪˈhuvz/ (Show IPA)
use; advantage; benefit:
The money was spent for his own behoof.
before 1000; Middle English behove, Old English behōf profit, need; cognate with Dutch behoef, German Behuf


[bih-hoov] /bɪˈhuv/
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.
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. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for behooves
  • It behooves you to stay current with what your higher-ups are thinking.
  • The relationship has changed, and it behooves publishers to learn what their longtime partners in scholarship need now.
  • It behooves any candidate to address these issues ahead of the interview.
  • And it behooves teachers to fill in the gaps wherever their professional judgment deems it necessary or prudent.
  • It behooves you, then, to be precise in your request for silence about your employment explorations.
  • So it behooves us to keep good contact with the candidate.
  • Obviously, it behooves all of humanity to take that radical action.
  • So it behooves each partner to clearly understand the real reason behind their behavior.
  • Regardless, it behooves us to find more efficient and effective ways to feed all people on our planet.
  • It behooves him to throw us off the scent now by accusing me of intemperance.
British Dictionary definitions for behooves


noun (pl) -hooves
(rare) advantage or profit
Word Origin
Old English behōf; related to Middle High German behuof something useful; see behove
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for behooves



c.1200, "use, benefit, advantage;" Old English had bihoflic "useful," implying *bihof "advantage, utility;" from Proto-Germanic *bi-hof "that which binds, requirement, obligation" (cf. Old Frisian bihof "advantage," Dutch behoef, Middle High German bihuof "useful thing," German Behuf "benefit, use, advantage"). In the common Germanic compound, the first element, likely intensive, is cognate with be- and the second with Old English hof, past tense of hebban "to raise" (see heave (v.)). The original sense is perhaps, then, "taking up (for oneself)."



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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for behoof

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for behooves

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with behooves

Nearby words for behooves