come about

Idioms & Phrases

come about

  1. Also, come to pass. Happen, take place, as in How did this quarrel come about? or When did this new development come to pass? Shakespeare used the first term, first recorded in 1315, in Hamlet (5:2): "How these things came about." The variant, dating from the late 1400s, appears often in the Bible, as in, "And it came to pass ... that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus" (Luke 2:1).

  2. Also, . In sailing, to change tack (direction), as in It's important to duck under the boom when we come about. [Mid-1500s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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