\ˈmīt \

Definition of might 

(Entry 1 of 2)

past tense of may

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.

4a 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.



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 striving with might and main

2 dialect : a great deal

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of might in a Sentence


an impressive display of military might the legal might of the government

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Peskov added Russia would work to restore its military might should the U.S. start making new weapons -- though critics would say the Kremlin has already begun doing so. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "US decision to withdraw from Cold War-era nuke treaty draws rebuke from Russia," 23 Oct. 2018 Set during a time when people spoke in thou’s and thee’s, Robert Eggers’ Puritan nightmare explores the coming-of-age of a might-be witch (Anya Taylor-Joy). Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 28 Best Halloween Movies on Netflix," 11 Oct. 2018 Today's iPads don't support Memojis, but tomorrow's might. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "iOS 12.1 beta suggests a new iPad is coming this fall," 19 Sep. 2018 Cephalopod was understandably overshadowed by the 100 megaton weapon, but in its own way is a threat to Western military might. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia Working on New 'Cephalopod' Underwater Attack Drone," 30 July 2018 Essentially, soft power is the ability to attract and influence via means other than hard power, which is typically defined as military might and economic incentives or sanctions. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Under President Trump, the U.S.'s 'Soft Power' Is Waning," 13 July 2018 The Spanish club had previously been linked with David de Gea and Thibaut Courtois, but with Liverpool unable to match Real's financial might, Alisson is seemingly the choice to take the number one spot at the Bernabeu. SI.com, "Jurgen Klopp Makes Bold Decision in Liverpool's Summer Search for New Goalkeeper," 23 June 2018 The bridge is central to government plans to transform the region into a metropolis rivaling Silicon Valley in economic might. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "China Opens Gargantuan 34-Mile Mega Bridge," 23 Oct. 2018 Khloe's fans have also gone to bat, trolling Thompson with all their might. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "Tristan Thompson’s First Post Since The Cheating Scandal Is Pissing People Off," 30 Apr. 2018

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 above


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


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

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Dictionary Entries near might





might and main



Statistics for might

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Time Traveler for might

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

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More Definitions for might



English Language Learners Definition of might

: power to do something : force or strength


\ˈmīt \

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 likely We might arrive before it rains.



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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More from Merriam-Webster on might

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with might

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for might

Spanish Central: Translation of might

Nglish: Translation of might for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of might for Arabic Speakers

Comments on might

What made you want to look up might? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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