could've

contraction

: could have
I could've sneezed and exposed a hundred agents, managers, and studio execs to my post-New Year's cold …Kate Nielsen
One of the couple's proudest moments yet came as a special delivery on their anniversary last Wednesday—a letter from the Queen. Evelyn [MacDiarmid] said: "I was so happy I could've cried."Jenny Kirkham
… I could've sworn my bike was parked out front. I ran out to the back of the shop thinking maybe I put it back there—no bike.Nigel Wynn

Word History

First Known Use

1646, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of could've was in 1646

Dictionary Entries Near could've

Cite this Entry

“Could've.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/could%27ve. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

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