use; advantage; benefit:
The money was spent for his own behoof.
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.
Archaic. to be needful, proper, or due:
Perseverance is a quality that behooves in a scholar.
Contemporary Examples

Given that said government is now spending almost a quarter of our annual income, it behooves us to keep an eye on it.
Is DC Real Estate Headed Up or Down? Megan McArdle October 22, 2012

I will still say that it behooves us not to forget that Morsi was no democrat.
Coming Clean on Egypt Michael Tomasky August 14, 2013

Historical Examples

Thou wilt say “impossible:” this is the very thing I have been urging, it behooves friends to help their friends in misfortunes.
The Tragedies of Euripides, Volume I. Euripides

It behooves me all the more to see to it that I am not duped in the end.
Casanova’s Homecoming Arthur Schnitzler

As it behooves every lady, though no queen, I am not to wait for him to come to me, but I am to go to him!
Napoleon and the Queen of Prussia L. Mhlbach,

It behooves us, gentlemen, to think first of the cities of our King.
Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer Cyrus Townsend Brady

And here it behooves us to exercise still greater caution, a still greater distrust, than we entertain for his statements of fact.
Catholic World, Vol. XI, April 1870-September 1870 Various

It behooves us then to acquaint ourselves with these new aspects of the human soul.
Chinese Painters Raphael Petrucci

And yet it behooves me to go; my liege lord hath sent for me by letter, and conjured me by my oath, and so hath my wife likewise.
Tales from the Old French Various

It behooves, at any rate, a man to be true to his country from first to last.
The Life of Cicero Anthony Trollope

noun (pl) -hooves
(rare) advantage or profit

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]


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