1

might

auxiliary verb \ ˈmīt \
Updated on: 1 Dec 2017

Definition of might

1 used to express permission, liberty, probability, or possibility in the past
  • The president might do nothing without the board's consent.
2 used to say that something is possible
  • We might get there before it rains.
  • I might go, but then again, I might not.
3 used to express a present condition contrary to fact
  • If you were older you might understand.
4 a used as a polite alternative to may
  • Might I ask who is calling?
b used as a polite alternative to ought or should
  • You might at least apologize.
  • I might have known she'd be late.
  • past tense of may

Origin and Etymology of might

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

2

might

noun

Definition of might

1 a : 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
  • striving with might and main
2 dialect : a great deal

Examples of might in a Sentence

  1. an impressive display of military might

  2. the legal might of the government

Recent Examples of might from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of might

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

Synonym Discussion of might

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


MIGHT Defined for English Language Learners

might

noun

Definition of might for English Language Learners

  • : power to do something : force or strength


MIGHT Defined for Kids

1

might

\ ˈmīt \

Definition of might for Students

used as a helping verb to show that something is possible but not likely
  • We might arrive before it rains.
  • past tense of may

2

might

noun

Definition of might for Students

: 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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