\ ˈhav How to pronounce have (audio) , (h)əv, v; in "have to" meaning "must" usually ˈhaf \
had\ ˈhad How to pronounce have (audio) , (h)əd , d \; having\ ˈha-​viŋ How to pronounce have (audio) \; has\ ˈhaz How to pronounce have (audio) , (h)əz , z , s ; in "has to" meaning "must" usually  ˈhas \

Definition of have

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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
2 : to feel obligation in regard to usually used with an infinitive with to we have things to dohave a deadline to meet
3 : to stand in a certain relationship to has three fine children we will have the wind at our backs
4a : to acquire or get possession of : obtain these shoes are the best to be had
b : receive She asked if he had any news.
c : accept so burnt no one would have a piece specifically : to accept in marriage could find no one who would have him
d : to copulate with claims to have had many women
5a : 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
6a : 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
7a : 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
8 : allow we'll have no more of that
9 : to be competent in has only a little French
10a : 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
11 : bear sense 3a have a baby
12 : to partake of have dinner have a piece
13 : bribe, suborn can be had for a price

auxiliary verb

1 used with the past participle to form the present perfect, past perfect, or future perfect has gone homehad already eatenwill have finished dinner by then
2 : to be compelled, obliged, or required used with an infinitive with to or to alone we had to godo what you have toit has to be said
had better or had best
: would be wise to had better go to bed
have at
: to go at or deal with : attack like two boxers having at each other
have coming
: to deserve or merit what one gets, benefits by, or suffers he had that coming
have done
: finish, stop wish you would have done before I go mad
have done with
: to bring to an end : have no further concern with let us have done with name-calling
have had it
1 : to have had or have done all one is going to be allowed to He's been cheating me for years but now he's had it.
2 : to have experienced, endured, or suffered all one can Her old beater has finally had it.
have it
: assert, claim rumor has it that he was drunk
have it in for
: to intend to do harm to
have it out
: to settle a matter of contention by discussion or a fight thinks they just need to have it out
have none of
: to refuse to have anything to do with We will have none of that.
have one's eye on
1a : to look at
b : to watch constantly and attentively
2 : to have as an objective has her eye on a little cottage in the country
have to do with
1 : to deal with the story has to do with real people— Alice M. Jordan
2 : to have a specified relationship with or effect on the size of the brain has nothing to do with intelligence— Ruth Benedict


\ ˈhav How to pronounce have (audio) \

Definition of have (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is well-endowed especially in material wealth the haves and have-nots

Synonyms & Antonyms for have

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of have in a Sentence

Verb Do they have a new car? You can have it until I get back. She has a red bike, and I have a blue one. She got another part-time job and now she has two jobs. I'm looking for the newspaper. Do you have it? He had the newspaper right in his hand. I used to have a necklace like that, but I lost it. She used to share a room with her sister, but now she has her own room. Have they got a new car? We've got things to do. Noun a society that discriminates between the haves and the have-nots See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The last few years have been tough for everyone, but among the groups who’ve had it the toughest are teachers. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 1 May 2022 Only two other Tigers, of the six who’ve faced the career Dodger, have hits against him: catcher Tucker Barnhart has two singles in five at-bats, and Javier Baez has two singles, a double and two homers in 13 at-bats. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, 30 Apr. 2022 If the trade never would have been made, the receiver options remaining at 29 would’ve been led by North Dakota State’s Christian Watson and Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore. David Furones, Sun Sentinel, 29 Apr. 2022 For adults 50 and older who have reduced immune function, such as those who’ve had solid organ transplants or who are getting cancer treatment, protection from a booster is initially good but falls faster. Brenda Goodman, CNN, 22 Apr. 2022 Legos are sold separately, but highly encouraged for any phone calls your dad may have that could’ve been emails. Annie O’sullivan, Good Housekeeping, 20 Apr. 2022 Because that would have been too easy and the comments would’ve been too annoying. Jonathon Ramsey, Car and Driver, 15 Apr. 2022 Later, prosecutors have indicated plans to call several other Navy officials who’ve already pleaded guilty, including Sanchez, Shedd, former Chief Warrant Officer Robert Gorsuch, former Capt. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Apr. 2022 The dream we’ve been sold has always been based on doing more, although the side hustle and start-up culture of the past decade have made things a hell of a lot worse. Nayanika Guha, refinery29.com, 6 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Vaccinated people are far more likely to be worried about getting Covid-19—46% compared to 25% of unvaccinated people—despite the vastly higher chances that the unvaccinated have of becoming infected. Graison Dangor, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 Our current focus is to put this robust job market to work (pun intended), not only for the haves, but also for those struggling have-nots who are seeking a hand up, not a hand-out. Phil Blair, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Apr. 2022 The rich, despite constituting less than 5% of the global population, always seem to wield an unfair influence over the rest—in a relative sense, the have-nots. Naveen Joshi, Forbes, 14 Mar. 2022 In a note the band said all tickets for the moved dates will be honored; fans who would prefer a refund have until March 15, 2022. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 15 Feb. 2022 Nevertheless, both events involve moving large groups of ticket-haves through even larger groups of ticket-have-nots. Los Angeles Times, 14 Feb. 2022 So at least for now, residents in neighborhoods such as Tampa’s Seminole Heights are divided between the haves and the have-nots. Washington Post, 18 Jan. 2022 The city is still racially segregated, Black folks are still getting killed by police and the gap between the haves and the have-nots has only widened. Tim Greiving, Los Angeles Times, 21 Dec. 2021 The virtual classroom has deepened existing inequities, marking the haves from the have-nots, said Shaveta Sharma Kukreja of Central Square Foundation, an education nonprofit organization. Arkansas Online, 3 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'have.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of have


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1836, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for have

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old English habban; akin to Old High German habēn to have, and perhaps to hevan to lift — more at heave entry 1

Learn More About have

Time Traveler for have

Time Traveler

The first known use of have was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near have



have a ball

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for have

Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Have.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/have. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for have


\ ˈhav, həv, əv, in sense 18 before "to" usually ˈhaf \
past & past participle had\ ˈhad , həd , əd \; present participle having\ ˈha-​viŋ \; present third person singular has\ ˈhas , həz , əz \

Kids Definition of have

1 : to hold or own I have the tickets.
2 : to possess as a characteristic She has red hair.
3 : to eat or drink Let's have dinner. I had some water.
4 : to consist of or contain April has 30 days.
5 : to be affected by I have a cold.
6 : to plan, organize, and run (an event) We're having a party.
7 : to give birth to She had twins.
8 : to cause to be How often do you have your hair cut?
9 : to stand in some relationship to I have many friends.
10 : to perform a function or engage in an activity He had a fight with his best friend.
11 : experience I had fun.
12 : to hold in the mind I have an idea.
13 : obtain, gain, get It's the best car to be had.
14 : to cause to I'll have them call you.
15 : permit entry 1 sense 1 We'll have none of that.
16 : trick entry 2 We've been had.
17 used as a helping verb with the past participle of another verb My friend has gone home.
18 : to be forced or feel obliged They have to stay.
19 : exercise entry 2 sense 1, use have mercy
had better or had best
: would be wise to You had better finish your homework.
have to do with
1 : to be about That book has to do with trucks.
2 : to be involved in or responsible for Luck had nothing to do with her success.

More from Merriam-Webster on have

Nglish: Translation of have for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of have for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!