Definition of behove in English:


(US behoove)


  • 1 It is a duty or responsibility for someone to do something.

    ‘it behoves the House to assure itself that there is no conceivable alternative’
    • ‘While price pressure is a huge factor in who can and cannot survive on the land, it behoves us to take the longer-term view, if at all possible, to ensure that we maintain a balance between rural and urban living.’
    • ‘If there are difficulties with Stay Safe, then it behoves us to overcome the difficulties and ensure children have the information.’
    • ‘When you come to the point where listing the components of one aspect of a poem requires more words than the poem itself it behoves you to pull back, hastily, as from a bed of fierce, fiery nettles.’
    • ‘And it behoves us to see that they're given a fair chance to develop clean and wholesome bodies without which any nation must go to the wall.’
    • ‘The services should remain… and it behoves us to carry out that regardless of Europeans or anyone else… we are running the show here in the Midlands.’
    • ‘We're more than two centuries down the evolutionary road, and it behoves us to keep refining the framework of society.’
    • ‘As a health board with responsibility for the delivery of health care for 400,000 people in the south east, it behoves us to make our position crystal clear.’
    • ‘I felt that it behoved me to do my best to help draw attention to his pathetic situation, and, thankfully, my efforts have been rewarded.’
    • ‘‘If we have toilets it behoves us to look after them,’ he said.’
    • ‘In a democracy, it behoves us to challenge and think.’
    • ‘Having said that, and because I don't wish to be a downer, I must say that I believe that it behoves me to act as an optimist, because the alternative is completely without redeeming features.’
    • ‘Knowing that the structure was rough and temporary, it behove her to keep a careful lookout as to the shape, conformation and position of its boundary with the kerbstone.’
    • ‘And it behoves us to ensure the tunnel was state of the art and had all the modern requirements,’ Mr Tobin said.’
    • ‘Most disabled persons are courageously trying to enjoy a reasonable quality of life and it behoves us to ensure that the opportunity to do so is not reduced by our actions, said he.’
    • ‘Therefore, it behoves us to help people a little bit, by making sure that a title bears some relationship to the contents of a bill.’
    • ‘Two, I just wrote a screenplay which I'm hoping Dave will one day direct, so it behoves me to keep him sweet.’
    • ‘If I tell people what I am doing it behoves me to do something!’
    • ‘So in terms of sisterhood, it behoves us to stay married if it is an option.’
    be incumbent on, be obligatory for, be required of, be appropriate for, be expected of, be advisable for, be sensible for, be wise for
    befit, become, suit
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with negative]It is appropriate or suitable; it befits.
      ‘it ill behoves Opposition Members to decry the sale of arms to friendly countries’
      • ‘The point in this case, my Lord, is that the claimant has never applied to work and we have not considered whether or not she can work, so it ill behoves her to suggest that we are preventing her from doing so.’
      • ‘But I think it ill behooves them when this is a compulsory program for all the rest of the people in the country -- that they should somehow be exempt from this program.’
      • ‘"It ill behooves a tube inspector to let a bias towards a meaningless relationship creep into his reporting" I said.’


Old English behōfian, from behōf (see behoof).