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verb, \ˈhav, (h)əv, v; in “have to” meaning “must” usually ˈhaf\

Definition of have

had play \ˈhad, (h)əd, d\ having play \ˈha-viŋ\ has play \ˈhaz, (h)əz, z, s; in “has to” meaning “must” usually ˈhas\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to hold or maintain as a possession, privilege, or entitlement <they have a new car> <I have my rights> b :  to hold in one's use, service, regard, or at one's disposal <the group will have enough tickets for everyone> <we don't have time to stay> c :  to hold, include, or contain as a part or whole <the car has power brakes> <April has 30 days>

  3. 2 :  to feel obligation in regard to —usually used with an infinitive with to <we have things to do> <have a deadline to meet>

  4. 3 :  to stand in a certain relationship to <has three fine children> <we will have the wind at our backs>

  5. 4 a :  to acquire or get possession of :  obtain <these shoes are the best to be had> b :  receive <had news> c :  accept; specifically :  to accept in marriage d :  to copulate with

  6. 5 a :  to be marked or characterized by (a quality, attribute, or faculty) <both have red hair> <has a way with words> b :  exhibit, show <had the gall to refuse> c :  use, exercise <have mercy on us>

  7. 6 a :  to experience especially by submitting to, undergoing, or suffering <I have a cold> b :  to make the effort to perform (an action) or engage in (an activity) <have a look at that cut> c :  to entertain in the mind <have an opinion>

  8. 7 a :  to cause or command to do something —used with the infinitive without to <have the children stay> b :  to cause to be in a certain place or state <has people around at all times>

  9. 8 :  allow <we'll have no more of that>

  10. 9 :  to be competent in <has only a little French>

  11. 10 a :  to hold in a position of disadvantage or certain defeat <we have him now> b :  to take advantage of :  trick, fool <been had by a partner>

  12. 11 :  bear 2a <have a baby>

  13. 12 :  to partake of <have dinner> <have a piece>

  14. 13 :  bribe, suborn <can be had for a price>

  15. verbal auxiliary
  16. 1 —used with the past participle to form the present perfect, past perfect, or future perfect <has gone home> <had already eaten> <will have finished dinner by then>

  17. 2 :  to be compelled, obliged, or required —used with an infinitive with to or to alone <we had to go> <do what you have to> <it has to be said>

had better or had best
  1. :  would be wise to

have at
  1. :  to go at or deal with :  attack

have coming
  1. :  to deserve or merit what one gets, benefits by, or suffers <he had that coming>

have done
  1. :  finish, stop

have done with
  1. :  to bring to an end :  have no further concern with <let us have done with name-calling>

have had it
  1. 1 :  to have had or have done all one is going to be allowed to

  2. 2 :  to have experienced, endured, or suffered all one can

have it
  1. :  assert, claim <rumor has it that he was drunk>

have it in for
  1. :  to intend to do harm to

have it out
  1. :  to settle a matter of contention by discussion or a fight

have none of
  1. :  to refuse to have anything to do with

have one's eye on
  1. 1 a :  to look at b :  to watch constantly and attentively

  2. 2 :  to have as an objective

have to do with
  1. 1 :  to deal with <the story has to do with real people — Alice M. Jordan>

  2. 2 :  to have a specified relationship with or effect on <the size of the brain has nothing to do with intelligence — Ruth Benedict>

Examples of have in a sentence

  1. Do they have a new car?

  2. You can have it until I get back.

  3. She has a red bike, and I have a blue one.

  4. She got another part-time job and now she has two jobs.

  5. I'm looking for the newspaper. Do you have it?

  6. He had the newspaper right in his hand.

  7. I used to have a necklace like that, but I lost it.

  8. She used to share a room with her sister, but now she has her own room.

  9. Have they got a new car?

  10. We've got things to do.

Origin of have

Middle English, from Old English habban; akin to Old High German habēn to have, and perhaps to hevan to lift — more at heave

First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with have



noun \ˈhav\

Definition of have

  1. :  one that is well-endowed especially in material wealth

Examples of have in a sentence

  1. <a society that discriminates between the haves and the have-nots>


First Known Use of have


HAVE Defined for Kids


verb \ˈhav, həv, əv, in sense 3 before "to" usually ˈhaf\

Definition of have for Students

past & past participle had \ˈhad, həd, əd\ present participle having \ˈha-viŋ\ present third person singular has \ˈhas, həz, əz\

  1. 1 :  to hold or own <I have the tickets.>

  2. 2 :  to possess as a characteristic <She has red hair.>

  3. 3 :  to eat or drink <Let's have dinner.> <I had some water.>

  4. 4 :  to consist of or contain <April has 30 days.>

  5. 5 :  to be affected by <I have a cold.>

  6. 6 :  to plan, organize, and run (an event) <We're having a party.>

  7. 7 :  to give birth to <She had twins.>

  8. 8 :  to cause to be <How often do you have your hair cut?>

  9. 9 :  to stand in some relationship to <I have many friends.>

  10. 10 :  to perform a function or engage in an activity <He had a fight with his best friend.>

  11. 11 :  experience <I had fun.>

  12. 12 :  to hold in the mind <I have an idea.>

  13. 13 :  obtain, gain, get <It's the best car to be had.>

  14. 14 :  to cause to <I'll have them call you.>

  15. 15 :  1permit 1 <We'll have none of that.>

  16. 16 :  2trick <We've been had.>

  17. 17 —used as a helping verb with the past participle of another verb <My friend has gone home.>

  18. 18 :  to be forced or feel obliged <They have to stay.>

  19. 19 :  2exercise 1, use <have mercy>

had better or had best
  1. :  would be wise to <You had better finish your homework.>

have to do with
  1. 1 :  to be about <That book has to do with trucks.>

  2. 2 :  to be involved in or responsible for <Luck had nothing to do with her success.>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up have? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tending to dismiss important matters

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