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


Put it in the form of an interview with Norton—I'll see that it is all right and that there is no come-back.

"By no means," Eugenio was prepared to declare in the event of this come-back.

And in case of a come-back, Ive witnesses to prove an alibi.

That, he said, would have eliminated the danger of a come-back.

It could not have been done without a "come-back" if any tips had been issued.

You see, he went on, there wouldnt be any come-back in a thing like that.

It seemed easy, with no come-back in sight, and I agreed to stall for the Kid.

She bit her lip over his familiarity, but she had no come-back.

Hell have his eye on you and mark you for a come-back, Ill wager.

Ive got no come-back to that line of conversation, Mr. Campbell, he said good-naturedly.


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.