What does behove mean?

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asked Jun 9 in Words & Wordplay by Darkhorseman (980 points)
What does behove mean?

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answered 6 days ago by captainfishie (1,590 points)
The word behove means that something is important that you should do.

Behooved is a proper word.

The meaning and definition of the word behooved is for something to be necessary, proper, or advantageous.

Behoove comes from the Old English word behofian, which means "to be of use."

The word behooved has nothing to do with horses’ feet, the only other word in modern English with any connection, and that’s a pretty distant one, appears to be “heave”.

The OED gives the etymology: “Old English bi- , behófian (corresponding to Middle Low German behoven , Middle Dutch and Dutch behoeven ), < bihóf n.: see behoof n.

Lit. ‘to be of behoof or use.’”

For the etymology of behoof, it says: “Old English *bihóf ‘utility,’ occurring in the derivative bihóf-líc useful, necessary; = Old Frisian bihof , Dutch behoef , Middle High German bihuof , modern German behuf , of same meaning; < *bihóf , past tense of original Germanic *bihafjan , Middle High German beheben ‘to take, hold, receive,’ < bi- , be- prefix

+ hafjan , Old English hębban , past tense hóf , ‘to heave n.

, raise,’ originally ‘to take up, take,’ cognate with Latin cap(i)ĕre . The original sense seems to have been either, ‘taking in, reception, acquisition,’ whence ‘gain, advantage,’ or ‘taking away, taking to oneself, taking the use of,’ whence ‘use.’ See also the synonyms biheve n.
, bihofth(e n.



Back to the verb, the original meaning was “ transitive.

To have use for or need of, to require; to be in want of. (Object originally genitive)” and then “To be physically of use, needful, or necessary to; (only in 3rd person).

Obsolete. Object originally dative” before developing its modern senses.

The double-o spelling seems to be relatively modern, and due to the fact that even when spelled “behove” in the present tense, it was pronounced with a oo sound, like move and prove.

It would behoove my husband to take his medication as his doctor instructed.

If you seriously want to get your driving permit, it would behoove you to start studying for the computer test.

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