\ shəd, ˈshu̇d How to pronounce should (audio) \

Definition of should

past tense of shall

1 used in auxiliary function to express condition if he should leave his father, his father would die — Genesis 44:22 (Revised Standard Version)
2 used in auxiliary function to express obligation, propriety, or expediency 'tis commanded I should do so— William Shakespearethis is as it should be— H. L. Savageyou should brush your teeth after each meal
3 used in auxiliary function to express futurity from a point of view in the past realized that she should have to do most of her farm work before sunrise— Ellen Glasgow
4 used in auxiliary function to express what is probable or expected with an early start, they should be here by noon
5 used in auxiliary function to express a request in a polite manner or to soften direct statement I should suggest that a guide … is the first essential— L. D. Reddick

Examples of should in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Energy analysts, for their part, say the Biden administration shouldn’t bank on cheap natural gas continuing to push coal out of the power market. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Biden climate goals mean conflict with natural gas, the resource behind recent emissions reductions," 15 Feb. 2021 Warmer weather is coming, Bishop said, along with warmer showers into the middle of the week, which should help melt the snow and ice. oregonlive, "More severe winter weather on the way for Portland Sunday, Sunday night," 14 Feb. 2021 The long strider should run at his best from one of the outside posts Sunday evening. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Horse racing newsletter: Tierney’s ‘Takes on TV’ is back," 14 Feb. 2021 Things should improve after sunrise on Sunday, however, some areas may not break the freezing mark until the late morning, the weather service said. Leigh Morgan, al, "Freezing fog possible in north Alabama overnight," 14 Feb. 2021 Because providers get the exact same number of second doses as first doses, second-dose appointments should be made directly with the clinic or provider that administered your first dose, health officials say. Annie Berman, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska coronavirus Q&A: Do you need to bring proof of eligibility to your vaccine appointment? How many cigarettes smoked over a lifetime would qualify you as high-risk?," 14 Feb. 2021 Michigan House Envy is mainly about real estate, but the interior design is such a factor here it should be mentioned. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "$3.9M mansion has lavish theater, custom design — and stunning backyard," 13 Feb. 2021 And spring is coming, when warmer weather should reduce the spread of the virus. David Abel, BostonGlobe.com, "‘There’s light at the end of the tunnel’ for life to return to something like normal," 13 Feb. 2021 According to Medina County Parks Planning and Operations Manager Isaac Smith, engineering and design work has already begun and cleanup teams should begin work this summer. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, "Chippewa Lake Amusement Park’s metamorphosis brings it back to nature," 13 Feb. 2021

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

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

History and Etymology for should

Middle English sholde, from Old English sceolde owed, was obliged to, ought to

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Time Traveler for should

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for should

Last Updated

19 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Should.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/should. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for should


\ shəd How to pronounce should (audio) , ˈshu̇d \

Kids Definition of should

past tense of shall

1 : ought to They should be here soon.
2 : happen to If you should see them, say hello for me.
3 used as a more polite or less assured form of shall Should I turn the light out?

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