\ wəd, əd, d, ˈwu̇d How to pronounce would (audio) \

Definition of would

past tense of will

1 used in auxiliary function to express plan or intention said we would come
2 : should knew I would enjoy the trip would be glad to know the answer
3 used in auxiliary function to express consent or choice would put it off if he could
4 used in auxiliary function to express probability or presumption in past or present time would have won if I had not tripped
5 used in auxiliary function to express a request with which voluntary compliance is expected would you please help us
6 used in auxiliary function with rather or sooner to express preference he would sooner die than face them
7a used in auxiliary function in the conclusion of a conditional sentence to express a contingency or possibility if he were coming, he would be here now
b used in auxiliary function in a noun clause (such as one completing a statement of desire, request, or advice) we wish that he would go
8 used in auxiliary function to express custom or habitual action we would meet often for lunch
9 : could the barrel would hold 20 gallons
10 used in auxiliary function to express doubt or uncertainty the explanation … would seem satisfactory
11a used in auxiliary function to express wish, desire, or intent those who would forbid gambling
b used in auxiliary function to express willingness or preference as ye would that men should do to you — Luke 6:31 (King James Version)
12a : strongly desire : wish I would I were young again often used without a subject and with that in a past or conditional construction would that I had heeded your advice
b archaic : wished, desired
c archaic : wish for : want

Examples of would in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In an April 21 interview, Gibson said the goal would be an enrollment of 175 students for the fall and then increase to 350 students in the 2023-24 school year. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6 May 2022 Robin Lod, forward Noteworthy: A win against Minnesota would be FC Cincinnati's sixth in all competitions this year, and its fifth in MLS play. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, 6 May 2022 This would be a calamity, not least for her parents, who run a bar, and who are proud of their daughter’s brain. The New Yorker, 6 May 2022 Benefits would be higher retention for workers within elevated positions and a person-centric culture for all. Jerry Cahn, Forbes, 6 May 2022 In short, no return to Boston or first-time trip would be complete without a visit. Jeremy Eichler, BostonGlobe.com, 6 May 2022 These clinics would be accessible to anyone who walks in, no matter their health-plan coverage or lack thereof, Afflalo said. San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 May 2022 The next step would be for FIDE master, which requires a rating of at least 2,300 with the International Chess Federation – known as FIDE for its French acronym – followed by International Master and finally, the highest title of Grandmaster. Fox News, 6 May 2022 Carson Wentz would still be the quarterback, right? Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 6 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'would.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of would

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

History and Etymology for would

Middle English wolde, from Old English; akin to Old High German wolta wished, desired

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Time Traveler for would

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Would.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/would. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for would


\ wəd How to pronounce would (audio) , ˈwu̇d \

Kids Definition of would

past tense of will

1 used as a helping verb to show that something might be likely or meant to happen under certain conditions They would come if they could.If I were you, I would save my money.
2 used to describe what someone said, expected, or thought She said she would help me.I thought it would take an hour.
3 used as a politer form of will Would you please stop?
4 : prefers or prefer to They would die rather than surrender.
5 : was or were going to We wish that you would go.
6 : is or are able to : could No stone would break that window.
7 : strongly desire : wish I would that I were home.

More from Merriam-Webster on would

Nglish: Translation of would for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of would for Arabic Speakers


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