have

1 of 2

verb

ˈhav How to pronounce have (audio)
(h)əv,
v;
 in "have to" meaning "must" usually  ˈhaf
had ˈhad How to pronounce have (audio)
(h)əd,
d
; having ˈha-viŋ How to pronounce have (audio) ; has ˈhaz How to pronounce have (audio)
(h)əz,
z,
s;
 in "has to" meaning "must" usually  ˈhas

transitive verb

1
a
: to hold or maintain as a possession, privilege, or entitlement
they have a new car
I have my rights
b
: to hold in one's use, service, regard, or at one's disposal
the group will have enough tickets for everyone
we don't have time to stay
c
: to hold, include, or contain as a part or whole
the car has power brakes
April has 30 days
2
: to feel obligation in regard to
usually used with an infinitive with to
we have things to dohave a deadline to meet
3
: to stand in a certain relationship to
has three fine children
we will have the wind at our backs
4
a
: to acquire or get possession of : obtain
these shoes are the best to be had
b
: receive
She asked if he had any news.
c
: accept
so burnt no one would have a piece
specifically : to accept in marriage
could find no one who would have him
d
: to copulate with
claims to have had many women
5
a
: to be marked or characterized by (a quality, attribute, or faculty)
both have red hair
has a way with words
b
: exhibit, show
had the gall to refuse
c
: use, exercise
have mercy on us
6
a
: to experience especially by submitting to, undergoing, or suffering
I have a cold
b
: to make the effort to perform (an action) or engage in (an activity)
have a look at that cut
c
: to entertain in the mind
have an opinion
7
a
: to cause or command to do something
used with the infinitive without to
have the children stay
b
: to cause to be in a certain place or state
has people around at all times
8
: allow
we'll have no more of that
9
: to be competent in
has only a little French
10
a
: to hold in a position of disadvantage or certain defeat
we have him now
b
: to take advantage of : trick, fool
been had by a partner
11
: bear sense 3a
have a baby
12
: to partake of
have dinner
have a piece
13
: bribe, suborn
can be had for a price

auxiliary verb

1
used with the past participle to form the present perfect, past perfect, or future perfect
has gone homehad already eatenwill have finished dinner by then
2
: to be compelled, obliged, or required
used with an infinitive with to or to alone
we had to godo what you have toit has to be said

have

2 of 2

noun

: one that is well-endowed especially in material wealth
the haves and have-nots
Phrases
had better or had best
: would be wise to
had better go to bed
have at
: to go at or deal with : attack
like two boxers having at each other
have coming
: to deserve or merit what one gets, benefits by, or suffers
he had that coming
have done
: finish, stop
wish you would have done before I go mad
have done with
: to bring to an end : have no further concern with
let us have done with name-calling
have had it
1
: to have had or have done all one is going to be allowed to
He's been cheating me for years but now he's had it.
2
: to have experienced, endured, or suffered all one can
Her old beater has finally had it.
have it
: assert, claim
rumor has it that he was drunk
have it in for
: to intend to do harm to
have it out
: to settle a matter of contention by discussion or a fight
thinks they just need to have it out
have none of
: to refuse to have anything to do with
We will have none of that.
have one's eye on
1
a
: to look at
b
: to watch constantly and attentively
2
: to have as an objective
has her eye on a little cottage in the country
have to do with
1
: to deal with
the story has to do with real people Alice M. Jordan
2
: to have a specified relationship with or effect on
the size of the brain has nothing to do with intelligence Ruth Benedict

Example Sentences

Verb Do they have a new car? You can have it until I get back. She has a red bike, and I have a blue one. She got another part-time job and now she has two jobs. I'm looking for the newspaper. Do you have it? He had the newspaper right in his hand. I used to have a necklace like that, but I lost it. She used to share a room with her sister, but now she has her own room. Have they got a new car? We've got things to do. Noun a society that discriminates between the haves and the have-nots See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The mRNA vaccines’ ability to block infection wanes over a period of months, particularly as the virus evolves, which is why so many people who’ve been vaccinated and boosted have gotten infected over the past year in the age of the Omicron variant. Andrew Joseph, STAT, 22 Nov. 2022 Black Friday deals have started hitting the internet early, and now’s your chance to DIY like you’ve never done before with the Cricut Explore Air 2. Michaela Leung, Popular Mechanics, 21 Nov. 2022 Justin Jefferson would’ve caught Stefon Diggs’ attention even if the Buffalo Bills receiver didn’t have a direct connection to how the Minnesota Vikings landed their star player in the first round of the 2020 draft. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 13 Nov. 2022 But the lines have been further blurred for some journalists who’ve enlisted in the military, according to Lesya Ganzha and Maksym Skubenko, former media representatives currently fighting in the Ukrainian army. Yuriy Zaliznyak, ABC News, 12 Nov. 2022 Unfortunately, not all veterans have been treated with the respect they’ve earned. Bobby Miller, National Review, 11 Nov. 2022 About half of the participants are workers of color, and about 74% of all workers who’ve completed degrees through the program have been promoted within the company. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 7 Nov. 2022 Compared to those who’ve never had cancer, childhood cancer survivors are eight to 10 times more likely to die of cardiac causes, and pediatric Hodgkin lymphoma survivors are about four times more likely to have strokes. Gwen Nichols, STAT, 31 Oct. 2022 According to Cleveland Clinic, mental health experts say the disorder is more common for people who’ve experienced abusive relationships, a serious illness, or childhood trauma, or who have a family history of the condition. Erica Sweeney, Men's Health, 31 Oct. 2022
Noun
In widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots, the modern college system has also distorted public life, pushing people toward the extremes. Jake Bittle, The New Republic, 19 Oct. 2022 But the district-versus-charter question rarely splits itself neatly between the haves and the have-nots. Jay Caspian Kang, The New Yorker, 18 Oct. 2022 There’s going to be a very sharp cut off between the haves and the have-nots of rainfall. Dave Epstein, BostonGlobe.com, 30 Sep. 2022 Using the arts to drive tourism suggests that cities thrive when money trickles down from the haves to the have-nots. Mary Carole Mccauley, Baltimore Sun, 28 Sep. 2022 To read Moncrieff’s paper and conclude that antidepressants do not work, as many on the right have, is the wrong message to take away from the study. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 30 July 2022 Even among the truly rich, there is a gap between the haves and the have-yachts. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, 18 July 2022 This is 1899 France, and in a world of where the haves quickly discard the have-nots, Satine has learned how to survive by using her voice, her looks, and her body. Yolanda Machado, EW.com, 16 July 2022 The new practice of paying student athletes has already begun to separate the haves from the have-nots in college sports. WSJ, 16 Aug. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old English habban; akin to Old High German habēn to have, and perhaps to hevan to lift — more at heave entry 1

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1836, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of have was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near have

Cite this Entry

“Have.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/have. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

have 1 of 2

verb

(ˈ)hav How to pronounce have (audio)
(h)əv,
v;
 in  ",
 have to  ",
 meaning  ",
 must  ",
 usually  ˈhaf
past & past participle had (ˈ)had How to pronounce have (audio)
(h)əd,
d
; present participle having ˈhav-iŋ How to pronounce have (audio) ; present 3rd singular has (ˈ)haz How to pronounce have (audio)
(h)əz,
z,
s;
 in  ",
 have to  ",
 meaning  ",
 must  ",
 usually  ˈhas
1
a
: possess sense 1, own
have a dog
have the right to vote
b
: to consist of
April has 30 days
2
: to be forced by duty or conscience in regard to : must
have to go
have a letter to write
3
: to stand in relationship to
has three sisters
4
a
: obtain sense 1, get
the best to be had
b
: receive sense 1
had bad news
c
: accept sense 1a
especially : to accept in marriage
she wouldn't have him
5
a
: to be marked or characterized by
has red hair
b
: reveal sense 1
had the courage to refuse
c
6
a
: experience entry 2, undergo
have a good time
I have a cold
b
: to perform an action or engage in an activity
have a look at that mess
had a fight
c
: to hold in the mind
have an opinion
have doubts
7
a
: to cause to do or be done
had my hair cut
please have the children stay
b
: to cause to be
has everyone confused
8
: permit entry 1 sense 1
we'll have no more of that
9
a
: to hold an advantage over
we have them now
b
: trick entry 2 sense 1, fool
been had by a partner
10
: bear entry 2 sense 2a
have a baby
11
: to partake of
have dinner
12
: bribe entry 2
can be had for a price
13
used as a helping verb with the past participle of another verb
has gone homehad already eatenwill have finished dinner by then
had better or had best
: would be wise to
you had better start your work
have at
: to go at or deal with : attack
have done have coming
: to deserve what one gets, benefits by, or suffers
he had that punishment coming
have it in for
: to intend to do harm to
have one's eye on
: to watch constantly and attentively
have to do with
1
: to deal with
the book has to do with fish
2
: to have a specified relationship with or effect on
luck had nothing to do with winning

have

2 of 2

noun

: one that has much material wealth

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