From Middle English comen, cumen, from Old English coman, cuman (“to come, go, happen”), from Proto-Germanic *kwemaną (“to come”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷem- (“to step”).
Cognate from Proto-Germanic with Scots cum (“to come”), Saterland Frisian kuume (“to come”), West Frisian komme (“to come”), Low German kamen (“to come”), Dutch komen (“to come”), German kommen (“to come”), Norwegian Bokmål and Danish komme (“to come”), Swedish komma (“to come”), Norwegian Nynorsk and Icelandic koma (“to come”).
Cognate from PIE via Latin veniō (“come, arrive”) with many Romance language terms (e.g., French venir, Portuguese vir, Spanish venir), Lithuanian gimti (“to be born, come into the world, arrive”), with terms in Iranian languages (e.g. Avestan 𐬘𐬀𐬨𐬀𐬌𐬙𐬌 (jamaiti, “to go”)), via Sanskrit गच्छति (gácchati, “to go”) with many Indic language terms (e.g., Hindi गति (gati)).
Cognate to English basis, from PIE via Ancient Greek.
come (third-person singular simple present comes, present participle coming, simple past came or (now nonstandard) come, past participle come or (rare) comen)
- (intransitive) To move from further away to nearer to.
She’ll be coming ’round the mountain when she comes […]
c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The Merry VViues of VVindsor”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene i]:
Look, who comes yonder?
- (Can we date this quote by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
- I did not come to curse thee.
- To move towards the speaker.
I called the dog, but she wouldn't come.
Stop dawdling and come here!
- To move towards the listener.
Hold on, I'll come in a second.
You should ask the doctor to come to your house.
- To move towards the object that is the focus of the sentence.
No-one can find Bertie Wooster when his aunts come to visit.
Hundreds of thousands of people come to Disneyland every year.
- (in subordinate clauses and gerunds) To move towards the agent or subject of the main clause.
King Cnut couldn't stop the tide coming.
He threw the boomerang, which came right back to him.
- To move towards an unstated agent.
The butler should come when called.
- (intransitive) To arrive.
- 1667 Diary of Samuel Pepys (illustrating the present historic)
- Late at night comes Mr. Hudson, the cooper, my neighbour, and tells me that he come from Chatham this evening at five o'clock, and saw this afternoon "The Royal James," "Oake," and "London," burnt by the enemy with their fire-ships:
1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, in The Celebrity:
Then came a maid with hand-bag and shawls, and after her a tall young lady. She stood for a moment holding her skirt above the grimy steps, […] , and the light of the reflector fell full upon her.
2013 January 11 , David Bell; Gill Valentine, Consuming Geographies: We Are Where We Eat, Routledge, →ISBN, page 140:
So I'd have ate when me Dad had ate, sort of thing, I think, you know when he come home from work, I'd have waited for him, I wouldn't have said I wanted mine at four o'clock […]
- (intransitive) To appear, to manifest itself.
The pain in his leg comes and goes.
- (Can we date this quote by Samuel Butler (poet) and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?), Hudibras:
- when butter does refuse to come [i.e. to form]
- (with an infinitive) To begin to have an opinion or feeling.
We came to believe that he was not so innocent after all.
She came to think of that country as her home.
- (with an infinitive) To do something by chance, without intending to do it.
Could you tell me how the document came to be discovered?
- (intransitive) To take a position relative to something else in a sequence.
Which letter comes before Y? Winter comes after autumn.
- (intransitive, vulgar, slang) To achieve orgasm; to cum; to ejaculate.
- 2004, Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty, Bloomsbury, 2005, Chapter 2:
- Nick was more and more seriously absorbed, but then just before he came he had a brief vision of himself, as if the trees and bushes had rolled away and all the lights of London shone in on him: little Nick Guest from Barwick, Don and Dot Guest's boy, fucking a stranger in a Notting Hill garden at night.
2008, Philip Roth, Indignation:
The sheer unimaginableness of coming into her mouth — of coming into anything other than the air or a tissue or a dirty sock — was an allurement too stupendous for a novice to forswear.
He came after a few minutes.
- (copulative, figuratively, with close) To approach a state of being or accomplishment.
They came very close to leaving on time. His test scores came close to perfect.
One of the screws came loose, and the skateboard fell apart.
1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 3, in The Celebrity:
Now all this was very fine, but not at all in keeping with the Celebrity's character as I had come to conceive it. The idea that adulation ever cloyed on him was ludicrous in itself. In fact I thought the whole story fishy, and came very near to saying so.
- (figuratively, with to) To take a particular approach or point of view in regard to something.
He came to SF literature a confirmed technophile, and nothing made him happier than to read a manuscript thick with imaginary gizmos and whatzits.
- (copulative, fossil word) To become, to turn out to be.
He was a dream come true.
c. 1595–1596, William Shakespeare, “Loues Labour’s Lost”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene ii]:
How come you thus estranged?
- (intransitive) To be supplied, or made available; to exist.
He's as tough as they come.
Our milkshakes come in vanilla, strawberry and chocolate flavours.
A new sports car doesn't come cheap.
- (slang) To carry through; to succeed in.
You can't come any tricks here.
- (intransitive) Happen.
This kind of accident comes when you are careless.
2014 June 14, “It's a gas”, in The Economist, volume 411, number 8891:
But out of sight is out of mind. And that […] means that many old sewers have been neglected and are in dire need of repair. If that repair does not come in time, the result is noxious and potentially hazardous.
- (intransitive, with from or sometimes of) To have as an origin, originate.
- To have a certain social background.
- 2011, Kate Gramich, Kate Roberts, University of Wales Press, →ISBN, chapter 3, 46:
- While Kate Roberts came from a poor background and, later in life, in the post-Second World War period suffered from severe money shortages, in the early 1930s, she and her husband must have counted themselves relatively well off, particularly in comparison with their neighbours in Tonypandy.
- To be or have been a resident or native.
Where did you come from?
- To have been brought up by or employed by.
She comes from a good family.
He comes from a disreputable legal firm.
- To begin (at a certain location); to radiate or stem (from).
The river comes from Bear Lake.
Where does this road come from?
- (intransitive, of grain) To germinate.
- (transitive, informal) To pretend to be; to behave in the manner of.
- Don't come the innocent victim. We all know who's to blame here.
In its general sense, come specifically marks motion towards the deictic centre, (whether explicitly stated or not). Its counterpart, usually referring to motion away from or not involving the deictic centre, is go. For example, the sentence "Come to the tree" implies contextually that the speaker is already at the tree — "Go to the tree" often implies that the speaker is elsewhere. Either the speaker or the listener can be the deictic centre — the sentences "I will go to you" and "I will come to you" are both valid, depending on the exact nuances of the context. When there is no clear speaker or listener, the deictic centre is usually the focus of the sentence or the topic of the piece of writing. "Millions of people came to America from Europe" would be used in an article about America, but "Millions of people went to America from Europe" would be used in an article about Europe.
When used with adverbs of location, come is usually paired with here or hither. In interrogatives, come usually indicates a question about source — "Where are you coming from?" — while go indicates a question about destination — "Where are you going?" or "Where are you going to?"
A few old texts use comen as the past participle. Also, in some dialects, like rural Scots and rural Midlands dialects, the form comen is still occasionally in use, so phrases like the following can still be encountered there — Sa thoo bist comen heyr to nim min 'orse frae mee, then? [sä ðuː bɪst cʊmn̩ hiər tə nɪm miːn ɔːrs frə miː | d̪ɛn] (so you have come here to steal my horse from me, then?).
Formerly the verb be was used as the auxiliary instead of have, for example, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
The phrase "dream come true" is a set phrase; the verb "come" in the sense "become" is archaic outside of some set phrases like come about, come loose, come true and come undone.
The collocations come with and come along mean accompany, used as "Do you want to come with me?" and "Do you want to come along?" In the Midwestern American dialect, "come with" can occur without a following object, as in "Do you want to come with?" In this dialect, "with" can also be used in this way with some other verbs, such as "take with". Examples of this may be found in plays by Chicagoan David Mamet, such as American Buffalo. This objectless use is not permissible in other dialects.
The meaning of to ejaculate is considered vulgar slang. Many style guides and editors recommend the spelling come for verb uses while strictly allowing the spelling cum for the noun. Both spellings are sometimes found in either the noun or verb sense, however. Others prefer to distinguish in formality, using come for any formal usage and cum only in slang, erotic or pornographic contexts.
to move nearer
- Abkhaz: аара (āārā)
- Afrikaans: kom (af)
- Albanian: vij (sq)
- Arabic: جَاءَ (jāʾa), أَتَى (ar) (ʾatā)
- Egyptian Arabic: جا (gā), جه (geh)
- Hijazi Arabic: جا (jā)
- North Levantine Arabic: إجا (ʾijā)
- Tunisian Arabic: جاء (jāʾ)
- Armenian: գալ (hy) (gal)
- Aromanian: vin, yin
- Assamese: আহ (ah)
- Asturian: venir (ast)
- Avestan: 𐬘𐬀𐬨𐬀𐬌𐬙𐬌 (jamaiti)
- Azerbaijani: gəlmək (az)
- Bakhtiari: اودن (aweðen)
- Basque: etorri
- Bavarian: kemma
- Belarusian: прыбыва́ць impf (prybyvácʹ), прыбы́ць pf (prybýcʹ); (on foot) прыхо́дзіць impf (pryxódzicʹ), прыйсці pf (pryjsci); (by vehicle) прыязджа́ць impf (pryjazdžácʹ), прые́хаць pf (pryjéxacʹ)
- Bengali: আসা (aśa)
- Brahui: barr
- Bulgarian: и́двам (bg) impf (ídvam), до́йда pf (dójda)
- Burmese: လာ (my) (la)
- Catalan: venir (ca)
- Chagatai: کلادو (kelādū)
- Chechen: please add this translation if you can
- Cantonese: 嚟 (yue) (lei4; lai4)
- Dungan: лэ (le)
- Mandarin: 來 (zh), 来 (zh) (lái)
- Min Dong: 來, 来 (lì)
- Wu: 來, 来 (le)
- Classical Nahuatl: huītz
- Crimean Tatar: kelmek
- Czech: přicházet (cs) impf, přijít (cs) pf; přijíždět impf, přijet (cs) pf (by transport)
- Dalmatian: vener
- Danish: komme (da)
- Dolgan: кэл (kel)
- Dutch: komen (nl)
- Esperanto: veni
- Estonian: tulema (et)
- Faroese: koma (fo)
- Finnish: tulla (fi)
- French: venir (fr)
- Friulian: vignî
- Galician: vir (gl)
- Georgian: მისვლა (misvla), ჩამოსვლა (čamosvla)
- German: kommen (de)
- Alemannic German: choo
- Greek: έρχομαι (el) (érchomai)
- Ancient: ἀφικνέομαι (aphiknéomai), ἔρχομαι (érkhomai), ἱκνέομαι (hiknéomai), ἱκάνω (hikánō), ἵκω (híkō), ἥκω (hḗkō) (have come), ἕπομαι (hépomai) (+ dative of person)
- Haitian Creole: vin(i)
- Hebrew: בָּא (he) (ba)
- Hindi: आना (hi) (ānā)
- Hungarian: jön (hu)
- Hunsrik: komme
- Icelandic: koma (is)
- Ido: venar (io)
- Indonesian: datang (id), mendatangi (id), mendatang (id), mendatangkan (id)
- Interlingua: venir
- Irish: tar
- Old Irish: do·icc, do·tét
- Istriot: vignì
- Italian: venire (it)
- Japanese: 来る (ja) (くる, kuru), いらっしゃる (ja) (irassharu) (honorific), おいでになる (o-ide ni naru) (honorific), 参る (まいる, mairu) (humble)
- Kamta: aṣ (aṣ)
- Karakhanid: کَلْماكْ (kelmēk)
- Kazakh: келу (kk) (kelw)
- Khakas: килерге (kilerge)
- Khmer: មក (km) (mɔɔk)
- Korean: 오다 (ko) (oda)
- Kumyk: гелмек (gelmek)
- Kurdish: Lua error in Module:translations at line 41: The language code "ku" in the first parameter is not valid., Lua error in Module:translations at line 41: The language code "ku" in the first parameter is not valid.
- Kyrgyz: келүү (ky) (kelüü)
- Lao: ມາ (mā)
- Latin: venio (la), progredior (la)
- Latvian: nākt (lv)
- Lithuanian: ateiti (lt)
- Lushootseed: ʔəƛ̕
- Lü: ᦙᦱ (maa)
- Macedonian: доаѓа impf (doaǵa), дојде pf (dojde)
- Malay: datang (ms), mari
- Maltese: ġie
- Manchu: [script needed] (jimbi)
- Manx: tar
- Maore Comorian: uja
- Mongolian: ирэх (mn) (ireh)
- Neapolitan: venì
- Nepali: please add this translation if you can
- Norman: v'nîn
- North Frisian: (Mooring) kaame, (Föhr-Amrum) kem, kum (Sylt)
- Northern Ohlone: ká̄nak 'íwqisin
- Northern Thai: ᨾᩣ (ma)
- Norwegian: komme (no)
- Occitan: venir (oc), vir
- Old Assamese: আস্ (as), আ (a)
- Old English: cuman
- Old Saxon: kuman
- Old Turkic: 𐰚𐰠 (kel-)
- Ossetian: please add this translation if you can
- Ottoman Turkish: گلمك (gelmek)
- Pashto: راتلل (ps) (rātlᶕl)
- Persian: آمدن (fa) (âmadan)
- Pipil: witz, huitz
- Polish: (on foot) przychodzić (pl) impf, przyjść (pl) pf; (by vehicle) przyjeżdżać (pl) impf, przyjechać (pl) pf
- Portuguese: vir (pt)
- Quechua: hamuy (qu), hamui, şamui, jamuy
- Rohingya: ai
- Romanian: veni (ro)
- Romansch: vegnir, vagnir, neir, gnir
- Russian: приходи́ть (ru) impf (prixodítʹ), прийти́ (ru) pf (prijtí); приезжа́ть (ru) impf (prijezžátʹ), прие́хать (ru) pf (prijéxatʹ) (by transport)
- Sanskrit: please add this translation if you can
- Sardinian: bènnere, benni, bènniri, vènnere
- Scots: cum
- Scottish Gaelic: thig
- Cyrillic: доћи pf
- Roman: doći (sh) pf
- Shan: please add this translation if you can
- Sicilian: vèniri (scn)
- Sinhalese: එනවා (enawā)
- Slovak: prichádzať impf, prísť pf
- Slovene: priti (sl) pf
- Lower Sorbian: pśiś, se póraś impf
- Southern Altai: келер (keler)
- Spanish: venir (es)
- Sundanese: sumping
- Swahili: kuja
- Swedish: komma (sv)
- Sylheti: ꠀꠃꠣ (aua)
- Tagalog: pumunta, magpunta
- Tajik: омадан (tg) (omadan)
- Tamil: வா (ta) (vā)
- Tatar: килергә (tt) (kilergä)
- Telugu: please add this translation if you can
- Thai: มา (th) (maa)
- Tibetan: ཡོང (yong), ཕེབས (phebs) (honorific)
- Tocharian A: kum-, käm-
- Tocharian B: käm-
- Turkish: gelmek (tr)
- Turkmen: gelmek (tk)
- Tuvan: келир (kelir)
- Ukrainian: прихо́дити (uk) impf (pryxódyty), прийти́ pf (pryjtý); приїжджа́ти impf (pryjiždžáty), приї́хати pf (pryjíxaty), приїзди́ти impf (pryjizdýty) (by transport)
- Urdu: آنا (ur) (ānā)
- Uyghur: كەلمەك (kelmek)
- Uzbek: kelmoq (uz)
- Venetian: vegner (vec)
- Vietnamese: lại (vi), đến (vi)
- Walloon: vni (wa), vini (wa)
- Welsh: dod (cy)
- West Frisian: komme (fy)
- White Hmong: please add this translation if you can
- Yakut: кэл (kel)
- Yiddish: קומען (kumen)
- Yoruba: please add this translation if you can
- Yucatec Maya: tal
- Yámana: akata
- Zazaki: amaene, amayen
- Zealandic: komme
- Zhuang: daeuj
- Zulu: -za
to begin to have an opinion or feeling
to do something by chance, without intending to do it
to have a relative position in a sequence
- (obsolete) Coming, arrival; approach.
- 1869, RD Blackmoore, Lorna Doone, II:
- “If we count three before the come of thee, thwacked thou art, and must go to the women.”
- (vulgar, slang) Semen
- (vulgar, slang) Female ejaculatory discharge.
The meaning of semen or female ejaculatory discharge is considered vulgar slang. Many style guides and editors recommend the spelling come for verb uses while strictly allowing the spelling cum for the noun. Both spellings are sometimes found in either the noun or verb sense, however. Others prefer to distinguish in formality, using come for any formal usage and cum only in slang, erotic or pornographic contexts.
- Used to indicate a point in time at or after which a stated event or situation occurs.
Leave it to settle for about three months and, come Christmas time, you'll have a delicious concoction to offer your guests.
Come retirement, their Social Security may turn out to be a lot less than they counted on.
Come summer, we would all head off to the coast.
2012 November 10, Amy Lawrence, “Fulham's Mark Schwarzer saves late penalty in dramatic draw at Arsenal”, in The Guardian:
Come the final whistle, Mikel Arteta lay flabbergasted on the turf.
- Came is sometimes used instead when the events occurred in the past.
- An exclamation to express annoyance.
Come come! Stop crying. Come now! You must eat it.
- An exclamation to express encouragement, or to precede a request.
Come come! You can do it. Come now! It won't bite you.
- “I'm through with all pawn-games,” I laughed. “Come, let us have a game of lansquenet. Either I will take a farewell fall out of you or you will have your sevenfold revenge”.
come (plural comes)
- (typography, obsolete) Alternative form of comma in its medieval use as a middot ⟨·⟩ serving as a form of colon.
- 1824, J. Johnson, Typographia:
- There be five manner of points and divisions most used among cunning men; the which if they be well used, make the sentence very light and easy to be understood, both to the reader and hearer: and they be these, virgil,—come,—parenthesis,—plain point,—interrogative.
- 1842, F. Francillon, An Essay on Punctuation, page 9:
- Whoever introduced the several points, it seems that a full-point, a point called come, answering to our colon-point, a point called virgil answering to our comma-point, the parenthesis-points and interrogative-point, were used at the close of the fourteenth, or beginning of the fifteenth century.