\ 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 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 But the results of the audit and the association’s pledge to repay the funds have not placated the CDAA’s critics, who’ve raised concerns that the group’s involvement in the financial review created potential conflicts of interest. Megan Cassidy, SFChronicle.com, "Audit finds state district attorney group misspent millions allocated for environmental cases," 13 Jan. 2021 Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines, which have never been approved for general public use before, although they’ve been studied in the lab and in clinical trials since the 1990s. Popular Science, "Is one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine enough?," 12 Jan. 2021 Because there will be questions as to who’s been vaccinated for the virus and who hasn’t, sensitive folks like us would like to have a prepared question for asking someone if they’ve been vaccinated. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Couple wants proof others are vaccinated," 5 Jan. 2021 There are patients of mine who’ve had four or five different diagnoses since their career in the care of psychiatric services began, even though their core symptoms (and distress) have hardly changed. Gavin Francis, The New York Review of Books, "Changing Psychiatry’s Mind," 5 Jan. 2021 Over the years, many who’ve read the book have assumed that Reilly is Toole’s comically exaggerated alter ego. Tom Bissell, The New Yorker, "The Uneasy Afterlife of “A Confederacy of Dunces”," 5 Jan. 2021 With all the players who have spent time out over the past two months, the Michigan State game should’ve provided a first glance at Johnson in meaningful snaps. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Jeremy Ruckert, Luke Farrell validate the tight end experience in Ohio State football’s win over Clemson: Stephen Means’ observations," 4 Jan. 2021 Of the 18 Super Bowl champions who’ve been crowned since 2002, their records against divisional opponents have been all over the place. Amie Just | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "The Saints have a chance to make history Sunday: No team has ever swept the NFC South.," 2 Jan. 2021 Loyal customers and corporate clients like GCI and ConocoPhillips who’ve ordered lunches for their workers, have helped to keep him afloat and employing a few workers. Anchorage Daily News, "As the year ends, let’s check in with some memorable Alaskans we met in 2020," 1 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The gap between the haves and the have-nots has been exacerbated by school shutdowns. New York Times, "Teachers on TV? Schools Try Creative Strategy to Narrow Digital Divide," 3 Jan. 2021 There are some good intentions involved but the haves still grifting the have-nots during the apocalypse is sketchy to the max. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Too soon? The 5 freakiest takeaways from Michael Bay's COVID thriller 'Songbird'," 12 Dec. 2020 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

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

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Have.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/have. Accessed 25 Jan. 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 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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Comments on have

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