would

verb
\ 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 But the odds of flourishing would be much better this time. The Economist, "A state of one’s own Somaliland deserves international recognition," 8 May 2021 But McCarthy has always had other would-be leaders on his heels. Lisa Mascaro, ajc, "In booting Cheney, 'My Kevin' leads GOP back to Trump," 7 May 2021 For current and prospective CASA volunteers Existing CASA volunteers with Child Advocates who would like to continue their work through Kids' Voice are encouraged to submit their information via this Google sheet: bit.ly/2PSo6Re. Holly V. Hays, The Indianapolis Star, "Kids' Voice finalizes $5.4M contract to provide court-appointed child advocacy services," 6 May 2021 Even though most of us would like to relegate Covid-19 to the dustbin of history, there are valuable lessons worth hanging on to as well. Ian Kerner, CNN, "Our lives are changing, again, and so must our rituals that give it meaning," 6 May 2021 To be sure, unemployment, at 6.0% of the workforce, is higher than anyone would like. Milton Ezrati, Forbes, "For The Economy, Immediate Strength And Significant Longer-Term Risks," 6 May 2021 The mayor will be holding a series of spring and summer in-person and virtual meetings to get a sense of where residents would like to spend the money. John Benson, cleveland, "Olmsted Falls Mayor Graven announces re-election campaign," 6 May 2021 If those people were counted as unemployed, the jobless rate would have been above 9 percent in March, and most likely close to that level in April. BostonGlobe.com, "Unemployment claims fell sharply last week," 6 May 2021 To the extent Angels fans might remember Pujols, that would be how. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: Albert Pujols was not the star the Angels wanted him to be," 6 May 2021

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.

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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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Statistics for would

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Would.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/would. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for would

would

verb

English Language Learners Definition of would

used to indicate what someone said or thought about what was going to happen or be done
used to talk about a possible situation that has not happened or that you are imagining
used with have to talk about something that did not happen or was not done

would

verb
\ 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

Comments on would

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