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I came across this phrase while looking at the meaning for べく:


It seems to be a set phrase, but I'm not 100% on the meaning. To win in order to win? To try really hard to win? To be sure to win?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

べく is 連用形 of the auxiliary verb べし, 'should/ought to/be supposed to do~~/it's natural to do~~'. ~~べくして~~した is a set phrase which literally means 'was supposed to do ~~ and did ~~'/'had to do ~~ and did ~~' so 勝つべくして勝った would be like 'someone was supposed to win, because he was competent to, and he did win'/'it was natural for someone to win because he was competent enough'.

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