\ ˈhav How to pronounce have (audio) , (h)əv, v; in "have to" meaning "must" usually ˈhaf \
had\ ˈhad How to pronounce had (audio) , (h)əd , d \; having\ ˈha-​viŋ How to pronounce having (audio) \; has\ ˈhaz How to pronounce has (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 towe 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 tohave 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 perfecthas gone homehad already eatenwill have finished dinner by then
2 : to be compelled, obliged, or required used with an infinitive with to or to alonewe 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 National tests have shown the drug has little effect on patients once the virus sets in for more than 10 days, and is also ineffective in treating people who’ve already been hospitalized. Don Stacom, courant.com, "New COVID-19 treatment comes to Connecticut hospitals, but it’s in highly limited supply and helpful only to some patients," 19 Nov. 2020 Other states, like California, have widespread testing available to anyone who thinks they’ve been exposed. NBC News, "'It's not enough': Health experts say Iowa governor's new Covid order is 'weak'," 19 Nov. 2020 That could have been a line written yesterday, it could’ve been written in 1969. Drea Brown, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Bold Anthology Shows How R-I-G-H-T and W-R-I-T-E Come Together in Black Poetry," 17 Nov. 2020 While weapons are thermal, other applications have lingered in the experimental stage and then been discarded, but they’ve still been studied off and on for decades. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "The Thermal Nuclear Engine That Could Get Us to Mars in Just 3 Months," 9 Nov. 2020 Part of the problem in controlling the virus' spread is that a significant number of Oregonians who’ve been infected have no idea where they were exposed. oregonlive, "Top 10 ZIP codes with new COVID-19 cases in Oregon: Inner NE Portland and Lake Oswego made the list," 9 Nov. 2020 Knee injuries have undercut two potential long-term solutions in Daunte Culpepper and Bridgewater during the past two decades, with Bridgewater being the only passer drafted by Rick Spielman who could’ve been a franchise option. Andrew Krammer, Star Tribune, "Vikings mailbag: Will Pat Elflein get his job back? Rather finish 7-9 or 3-13?," 6 Nov. 2020 They’ve been told that both publicly in congressional hearings, and four federal judges have told them that. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, "Swing state voters face major mail delays in returning ballots on time, USPS data shows," 30 Oct. 2020 Some social media users who’ve been exposed to QAnon posts about saving the children have turned out to rallies in cities across the country to call for an end to child exploitation. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "QAnon crackdown: Facebook restricts Save the Children hashtag ahead of Election Day," 30 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Twitter has suspended at least a dozen accounts Trump retweeted or quoted, and at least 16 more have since been deactivated, according to an analysis by the nonprofit Media Matters for America. Max Kutner, Wired, "@Team_Trump45 and the Hazards of Online Sleuthing," 29 Oct. 2020 Only a third have friends who don’t think like them. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Kids today: 4 in 10 call Constitution ‘outdated,’ OK with silencing speech," 28 Oct. 2020 The Nick Saban case illustrates the stark difference between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ in college athletics. oregonlive, "Elite running community illustrates what makes this state special: Oregon track & field rundown," 22 Oct. 2020 The logistical complexities of mounting shows during a pandemic have, Mr. Glimcher admitted, been nightmarish. Tess Thackara, New York Times, "For High-End Galleries, It’s a Season of Upended Exhibitions," 22 Oct. 2020 Ownership of both is a must for the haves and a never-never land for the have-nots. Scott Burns, Dallas News, "Job losses for high earners hit the economy. For low-wage workers, they hit home," 9 Oct. 2020 Will the ‘haves’ play nice with the ‘have-nots’ — and vice versa? Teddy Greenstein, chicagotribune.com, "With a restart vote coming soon, which Big Ten schools most want to play football? Here’s a ranking.," 12 Sep. 2020 As for eating out, outside or inside a plastic dome designed to separate the haves from the have-nots? Rachel Levin, SFChronicle.com, "So you love a restaurant. Are you morally obligated to buy takeout right now?," 3 Sep. 2020 The kitchen will also be baking up its gotta-have buttermilk scones, which are served with fresh strawberries and drizzled with a sweet cream cheese topping. Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune, "10 Twin Cities restaurants that have popular fair foods on the menu," 27 Aug. 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

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Have.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/have. Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

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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 verbMy 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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