\ ˈmīt How to pronounce might (audio) \

Definition of might

 (Entry 1 of 2)

past tense of may

1 used to express permission, liberty, probability, or possibility in the pastThe president might do nothing without the board's consent.
2 used to say that something is possibleWe might get there before it rains.I might go, but then again, I might not.
3 used to express a present condition contrary to factIf you were older you might understand.
4a used as a polite alternative to mayMight I ask who is calling?
b used as a polite alternative to ought or shouldYou might at least apologize.I might have known she'd be late.

might

noun

Definition of might (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the power, authority, or resources wielded (as by an individual or group)
b(1) : bodily strength
(2) : the power, energy, or intensity of which one is capable ran with all her might striving with might and main
2 dialect : a great deal

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Choose the Right Synonym for might

Noun

power, force, energy, strength, might mean the ability to exert effort. power may imply latent or exerted physical, mental, or spiritual ability to act or be acted upon. the awesome power of flowing water force implies the actual effective exercise of power. used enough force to push the door open energy applies to power expended or capable of being transformed into work. a worker with boundless energy strength applies to the quality or property of a person or thing that makes possible the exertion of force or the withstanding of strain, pressure, or attack. use weight training to build your strength might implies great or overwhelming power or strength. the belief that might makes right

Examples of might in a Sentence

Noun an impressive display of military might the legal might of the government
Recent Examples on the Web: Auxiliary verb Still, some observers are hopeful that there might be an opening to tackle issues in less parochial ways than has been the norm. John King, SFChronicle.com, "California is terrible at fixing large problems. But the climate emergency and housing crisis require big thinking," 21 Sep. 2020 Throughout the broadcast, the team was just as into the game as any fan might be. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Lions radio team didn't attend game in Green Bay due to COVID-19. Here's how they called it," 21 Sep. 2020 In a vacuum, the items on my list might seem innocuous; working from home during a pandemic is no more hurtful than a drink of water. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | BENJAMIN WARNER: Laying claim to racism," 20 Sep. 2020 That might not seem like very much warming, but just a little can go a long way. Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic, "The science connecting wildfires to climate change," 17 Sep. 2020 Although the move might seem Draconian, Northeastern’s emphasis on enforcing additional measures to limit transmission of the virus is sensible. Clayton Dalton, The New Yorker, "Why a Negative Test Doesn’t Guarantee You Don’t Have the Coronavirus," 16 Sep. 2020 In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, talking about a plant disease might seem frivolous. Maryn Mckenna, The Atlantic, "Coffee Is Under Attack," 16 Sep. 2020 With hotel occupancy rates in Orlando slumping at about 30%, this might seem a less than ideal time to open a new mid-range lodging. Trevor Fraser, orlandosentinel.com, "Tru by Hilton’s first Orlando hotel an investment in a post-COVID future," 16 Sep. 2020 This might seem more credible if Trump did a single thing about US intelligence reports about Russian bounties to kill US troops that were acted upon. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "The Russian Bounties Story Turns Out to Be Trash Journalism," 16 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The chamber has a long track record of using most of its political might to back Republican candidates, especially with money. Alan Fram, Star Tribune, "Chamber of Commerce backs freshmen House Dems, marking shift," 1 Sep. 2020 China has prioritized its military modernization, Esper stressed, and has used military might and economic pressure to upend an international order that helped its own growth. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "Esper casts wide net in Pacific effort to build partners, contain China," 27 Aug. 2020 Virginia Democrats face the biggest test yet of their newfound political might when the General Assembly convenes Tuesday for a special legislative session aimed at major issues of state finances, criminal justice and racial equity. Washington Post, "Lawmakers return to Richmond with high-stakes agenda of coronavirus, criminal justice issues," 17 Aug. 2020 Never one to give up easy, Clarke is fighting the M-Cap with all her might. Dalene Rovenstine, EW.com, "The 100 recap: Bellamy has gone to the dark side (again)," 20 Aug. 2020 Waters couldn’t believe his own government would turn its military might against him and his brothers. oregonlive, "Oregon WWI vet led 20,000-strong Bonus Army in 1932 that marched on nation’s capital, met brutal resistance," 14 Aug. 2020 China's military garrison in Hong Kong released two new videos that display the nation's military might as the country passed a national security law targeting Hong Kong. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "China posts videos boasting military might amid passage of Hong Kong security law," 30 June 2020 The president also delivered a 47-minute speech at the Lincoln Memorial, praising Americans’ sacrifice and extolling US military might. Fredrick Kunkle, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Salute to America’ cost double the usual July 4 activities," 26 June 2020 The president also delivered a 47-minute speech at the Lincoln Memorial, praising Americans’ sacrifice and extolling U.S. military might. Fredrick Kunkle, Washington Post, "Trump’s ‘Salute to America’ cost double the usual for Fourth of July, GAO says," 25 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'might.' 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 might

Auxiliary verb

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

Noun

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

History and Etymology for might

Auxiliary verb

Middle English, from Old English meahte, mihte; akin to Old High German mahta, mohta could

Noun

Middle English, from Old English miht; akin to Old High German maht might, magan to be able — more at may entry 1

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Time Traveler for might

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for might

Last Updated

24 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Might.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/might. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for might

might

noun

English Language Learners Definition of might

: power to do something : force or strength

might

\ ˈmīt How to pronounce might (audio) \

Kids Definition of might

 (Entry 1 of 2)

past tense of may

used as a helping verb to show that something is possible but not likelyWe might arrive before it rains.

might

noun

Kids Definition of might (Entry 2 of 2)

: power that can be used (as by a person or group) our army's might I tried with all my might.

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Comments on might

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