\ 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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for have

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There might’ve been a small ounce of hope that Michigan basketball’s Isaiah Livers would be back for the later rounds of the NCAA tournament, but those hopes have been officially put to rest. Andrew Hammond, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball's Isaiah Livers is officially out for the season, CBS Sports reports," 28 Mar. 2021 The 12 newest inductees and their representatives instead talked about the people they’ve been surrounded by – the people who have influenced THEIR lives. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al, "The 30th Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame Class was worth the wait," 17 Mar. 2021 At 6-18-4, the Sabres have as many wins as times they’ve been shut out, rank last in the league in victories, points and goals scored, and are in jeopardy of extending their playoff drought to an NHL record-matching 10th season. John Wawrow, ajc, "Sabres fire coach Krueger while in midst of 12-game skid," 17 Mar. 2021 The majority of the times that BTS have been invited to American award shows, they’ve often been excluded from the main creative awards, and siloed into separate categories from their Western peers. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "The Grammys Used BTS As Eye Candy & Everyone Saw Right Through It," 16 Mar. 2021 According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University who’ve been tracking the COVID pandemic since its inception, there have now been more than 29.4 million coronavirus cases identified in the US. Andy Meek, BGR, "CDC warns if this is open near you, expect new coronavirus outbreaks," 16 Mar. 2021 On the ground, some people who’ve received vaccines at Miami sites have reported little to no restrictions. Lisa J. Huriash, sun-sentinel.com, "Here’s the latest rundown of rules for every COVID-19 vaccine site," 15 Mar. 2021 David Njoku would’ve liked to have been traded, but the market just hasn’t been there to this point for a player who caught 19 passes last season and is owed $6.013 million in 2021. cleveland, "By signing a Carl Lawson or Yannick Ngakoue, and LB Jayon Brown, the Browns can win free agency: Mary Kay Cabot," 14 Mar. 2021 For adolescents who’ve gone through puberty, Roberts said the playing field will have been leveled after a year. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Banning transgender girls from sports doesn't protect anyone, it promotes hate," 5 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On its initial rollout, the PPP seemed like a government boondoggle designed to help the haves over the have-nots. Will Jeakle, Forbes, "Why Your Small Business Should Apply For A PPP Loan Right Now," 8 Apr. 2021 Utah likely wouldn’t need to sink $200 million into the renovations to help districts struggling to come up with the funding make the necessarily improvements, and the safety of kids in schools shouldn’t boil down to the haves and the have-nots. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Robert Gehrke: It’s unfathomable that we’re still sending kids to schools that could collapse in an earthquake. It’s time to do better.," 7 Apr. 2021 The 19th-century economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen acerbically noted that leisure was a status symbol that distinguished the haves from the have-nots. Ingrid Nelson, The Conversation, "‘Doing nothing’ is all the rage – is it a form of resistance, or just an indulgence for the lucky few?," 19 Mar. 2021 As reported in 2019, the gap between the haves and the have-nots isn’t exactly closing. Alex Briseno, Dallas News, "‘Game changer’: Texas may join other states in letting college athletes profit from their names," 12 Mar. 2021 Ditto for Mayor Bloomberg, who also delivered for the city’s educational have-nots. William Mcgurn, WSJ, "The ‘Equity’ of Bill de Blasio," 15 Mar. 2021 But how did GameStop, a struggling video game retailer making headlines for shuttering stores, find itself at the center of a crusade that seemingly pitted the haves against the have-nots in the arena of the stock market? ABC News, "'GameStopped': Key players in Wall Street's showdown speak out in new documentary," 15 Mar. 2021 The tech landscape tilted away from the have-nots, denying many access to important innovations. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "10 lessons learned in a year of Covid-19 lockdown," 13 Mar. 2021 If job loss comes from the have side, the impact is far greater. Scott Burns, Dallas News, "Job losses for high earners hit the economy. For low-wage workers, they hit home," 9 Oct. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for have

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for have

Last Updated

1 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Have.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/have. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for have


\ ˈhav, həv, əv, in sense 3 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on have

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for have

Nglish: Translation of have for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of have for Arabic Speakers

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