Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


(To his son) Now, Thomas, come forward, and pay your respects.

I admire your courage in daring to come forward in the defence of innocence.

But, strange to say, the substitute did not come forward at once.

A little encouragement, however, induced him to come forward.

The officers had come forward to the barricade and were consulting together.

It's denied, you know, that he intends to come forward as a candidate in Morbihan.

He had risen and come forward, and now waited till there was absolute silence.

He was always in agony lest she should come forward and ruin him.

He had not the virtue to come forward, for all that he knew that you must die if he did not.

They passed down the word for the generals and officers to come forward to the front.


Old English cuman "come, approach, land; come to oneself, recover; arrive; assemble" (class IV strong verb; past tense cuom, com, past participle cumen), from Proto-Germanic *kwem- (cf. Old Saxon cuman, Old Frisian kuma, Middle Dutch comen, Dutch komen, Old High German queman, German kommen, Old Norse koma, Gothic qiman), from PIE root *gwa-, *gwem- "to go, come" (cf. Sanskrit gamati "he goes," Avestan jamaiti "goes," Tocharian kakmu "come," Lithuanian gemu "to be born," Greek bainein "to go, walk, step," Latin venire "to come").

The substitution of Middle English -o- for Old English -u- before -m-, -n-, or -r- was a scribal habit before minims to avoid misreading the letters in the old style handwriting, which jammed letters. The practice similarly transformed some, monk, tongue, worm. Modern past tense form came is Middle English, probably from Old Norse kvam, replacing Old English cuom.

Remarkably productive with prepositions (NTC's "Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs" lists 198 combinations); consider the varied senses in come to "regain consciousness," come over "possess" (as an emotion), come at "attack," come on (interj.) "be serious," and come off "occur." For sexual senses, see cum.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.