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have

[hav; unstressed huh v, uh v; for 26 usually haf]
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verb (used with object), present singular 1st person have, 2nd have or (Archaic) hast, 3rd has or (Archaic) hath, present plural have; past singular 1st person had, 2nd had or (Archaic) hadst or had·dest, 3rd had, past plural had; past participle had; present participle hav·ing.
  1. to possess; own; hold for use; contain: He has property. The work has an index.
  2. to hold, possess, or accept in some relation, as of kindred or relative position: He wanted to marry her, but she wouldn't have him.
  3. to get, receive, or take: to have a part in a play; to have news.
  4. to experience, undergo, or endure, as joy or pain: Have a good time. He had a heart attack last year.
  5. to hold in mind, sight, etc.: to have doubts.
  6. to cause to, as by command or invitation: Have him come here at five.
  7. to be related to or be in a certain relation to: She has three cousins. He has a kind boss.
  8. to show or exhibit in action or words: She had the crust to refuse my invitation.
  9. to be identified or distinguished by; possess the characteristic of: He has a mole on his left cheek. This wood has a silky texture.
  10. to engage in or carry on: to have a talk; to have a fight.
  11. to partake of; eat or drink: He had cake and coffee for dessert.
  12. to permit or allow: I will not have any talking during the concert.
  13. to assert, maintain, or represent as being: Rumor has it that she's going to be married.
  14. to know, understand, or be skilled in: to have neither Latin nor Greek.
  15. to beget or give birth to: to have a baby.
  16. to hold an advantage over: He has you there.
  17. to outwit, deceive, or cheat: We realized we'd been had by an expert con artist.
  18. to control or possess through bribery; bribe.
  19. to gain possession of: There is none to be had at that price.
  20. to hold or put in a certain position or situation: The problem had me stumped. They had him where they wanted him.
  21. to exercise, display, or make use of: Have pity on him.
  22. to invite or cause to be present as a companion or guest: We had Evelyn and Everett over for dinner. He has his bodyguard with him at all times.
  23. to engage in sexual intercourse with.
verb (used without object), present singular 1st person have, 2nd have or (Archaic) hast, 3rd has or (Archaic) hath, present plural have; past singular 1st person had, 2nd had or (Archaic) hadst or had·dest, 3rd had, past plural had; past participle had; present participle hav·ing.
  1. to be in possession of money or wealth: There are some who have and some who have not.
auxiliary verb, present singular 1st person have, 2nd have or (Archaic) hast, 3rd has or (Archaic) hath, present plural have; past singular 1st person had, 2nd had or (Archaic) hadst or had·dest, 3rd had, past plural had; past participle had; present participle hav·ing.
  1. (used with a past participle to form perfect tenses): She has gone. It would have been an enjoyable party if he hadn't felt downcast.
  2. to be required, compelled, or under obligation (followed by infinitival to, with or without a main verb): I have to leave now. I didn't want to study, but I had to.
noun
  1. Usually haves. an individual or group that has wealth, social position, or other material benefits (contrasted with have-not).
Verb Phrases
  1. have at, to go at vigorously; attack: First he decided to have at his correspondence.
Idioms
  1. had better/best, ought to: You'd better go now, it's late.
  2. had rather. rather(def 9).
  3. have done, to cease; finish: It seemed that they would never have done with their struggle.
  4. have had it,
    1. to become weary of or disgusted with whatever one has been doing: I've been working like a fool, but now I've had it.
    2. to suffer defeat; fail: He was a great pitcher, but after this season he'll have had it.
    3. to have missed a last opportunity: He refused to take any more excuses and told them all that they'd had it.
    4. to become unpopular or passé: Quiz shows have had it.
  5. have it coming, to merit or deserve: When they lost their fortune, everyone said that they had it coming.
  6. have it in/out for, to plan or wish to do something unpleasant to; hold a grudge against: She has it in for intelligent students who fail to use their abilities.
  7. have it out, to come to an understanding or decision through discussion or combat: We've been in disagreement about this for a long time, and I think we should have it out, once and for all.
  8. have on,
    1. to be clothed in; be wearing: She had on a new dress.
    2. to have arranged or planned: What do you have on for Christmas?
    3. to tease (a person); make the butt of a joke.Compare put(def 35).
  9. have to do with,
    1. to be connected or associated with: Your lack of confidence probably had a lot to do with your not getting the job.
    2. to deal with; be concerned with: I will have nothing to do with their personal squabbles.
  10. to have and to hold, to possess legally; have permanent possession of: The house, with the mortgage finally paid, was at last their own to have and to hold.

Origin of have

before 900; Middle English haven, habben, Old English habban; cognate with German haben, Old Norse hafa, Gothic haban to have; perhaps akin to heave
Can be confusedhalve have

Synonyms

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3. obtain, gain, secure, procure.

Synonym study

1. Have, hold, occupy, own, possess mean to be, in varying degrees, in possession of something. Have, being the most general word, admits of the widest range of application: to have money, rights, discretion, a disease, a glimpse, an idea; to have a friend's umbrella. To hold is to have in one's grasp or one's control, but not necessarily as one's own: to hold stakes. To occupy is to hold and use, but not necessarily by any right of ownership: to occupy a chair, a house, a position. To own is to have the full rights of property in a thing, which, however, another may be holding or enjoying: to own a house that is rented to tenants. Possess is a more formal equivalent for own and suggests control, and often occupation, of large holdings: to possess vast territories.

Antonyms

1. lack.

Usage note

See of2.

better1

[bet-er]
adjective, compar. of good with best as superl.
  1. of superior quality or excellence: a better coat; a better speech.
  2. morally superior; more virtuous: They are no better than thieves.
  3. of superior suitability, advisability, desirability, acceptableness, etc.; preferable: a better time for action.
  4. larger; greater: the better part of a lifetime.
  5. improved in health; healthier than before.
  6. completely recovered in health.
adverb, compar. of well with best as superl.
  1. in a more appropriate or acceptable way or manner: to behave better.
  2. to a greater degree; more completely or thoroughly: He knows the way better than we do. I probably know him better than anyone else.
  3. more: I walked better than a mile to town.
verb (used with object)
  1. to increase the good qualities of; make better; improve: to better one's grades; to better the lot of the suburban commuter.
  2. to improve upon; surpass; exceed: We have bettered last year's production record.
  3. Cards. to raise (a previous bid).
noun
  1. that which has greater excellence or is preferable or wiser: the better of two choices.
  2. Usually betters. those superior to one in wisdom, wealth, etc.
Idioms
  1. better off,
    1. in better circumstances.
    2. more fortunate; happier: Because of his asthma, he would be better off in a different climate.
  2. better oneself, to improve one's social standing, financial position, or education: He is going to night school because he wants to better himself.
  3. for the better, in a way that is an improvement: His health changed for the better.
  4. get/have the better of,
    1. to get an advantage over.
    2. to prevail against.
  5. go (someone) one better, to exceed the effort of; be superior to: The neighbors went us one better by buying two new cars.
  6. had better, would be wiser or more well-advised to; ought to: We had better stay indoors today.
  7. no better than one should be, morally inferior; immoral or amoral: Don't speak to him; he's no better than he should be!
  8. think better of,
    1. to reconsider and decide more favorably or wisely regarding: I was tempted to make a sarcastic retort, but thought better of it.
    2. to form a higher opinion of: I think better of him now that he's gone back to college.

Origin of better1

before 900; Middle English bettre, Old English bet(t)(e)ra; cognate with Old High German bezziro (German besser), Dutch beter, Old Norse betr, Gothic batiza, equivalent to bat- (cognate with Old High German baz (adv.) better; akin to boot2) + -iza comparative suffix; suggested relation to Sanskrit bhadrá- “fortunate” is doubtful. See best
Related formsun·bet·tered, adjective
Can be confusedbetter bettor

Synonyms

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10. amend; advance, promote; reform, correct, rectify. See improve.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for had better

better1

adjective
  1. the comparative of good
  2. more excellent than other members of a particular group, category, etc
  3. more suitable, advantageous, attractive, etc
  4. improved in health
  5. fully recovered in health
  6. in more favourable circumstances, esp financially
  7. better off in more favourable circumstances, esp financially
  8. the better part of a large part ofthe better part of a day
adverb
  1. the comparative of well 1
  2. in a more excellent manner; more advantageously, attractively, etc
  3. in or to a greater degree or extent; moreshe is better loved than her sister
  4. go one better (Brit intr; US tr) to outdo (a person) or improve upon (someone else's effort)
  5. had better would be wise, sensible, etc toI had better be off
  6. know better than to not to be so stupid as to
  7. think better of
    1. to change one's course of action after reconsideration
    2. to rate (a person) more highly
noun
  1. the better something that is the more excellent, useful, etc, of two such things
  2. (usually plural) a person who is superior, esp in social standing or ability
  3. all the better for improved as a result of
  4. all the better to more suitable to
  5. for better for worse whatever the subsequent events or changes may be
  6. for the better by way of improvementa change for the better
  7. get the better of to defeat, outwit, or surpass
  8. the better of Irish having recovered fromI'm not the better of it yet
verb
  1. to make or become better
  2. (tr) to improve upon; surpass

Word Origin

Old English betera; related to Old Norse betri, Gothic batiza, Old High German beziro

better2

esp US bettor

noun
  1. a person who bets

have

verb has, having or had (mainly tr)
  1. to be in material possession of; ownhe has two cars
  2. to possess as a characteristic quality or attributehe has dark hair
  3. to receive, take, or obtainshe had a present from him; have a look
  4. to hold or entertain in the mindto have an idea
  5. to possess a knowledge or understanding ofI have no German
  6. to experience or undergoto have a shock
  7. to be infected with or suffer fromto have a cold
  8. to gain control of or advantage overyou have me on that point
  9. (usually passive) slang to cheat or outwithe was had by that dishonest salesman
  10. (foll by on) to exhibit (mercy, compassion, etc, towards)have mercy on us, Lord
  11. to engage or take part into have a conversation
  12. to arrange, carry out, or holdto have a party
  13. to cause, compel, or require to (be, do, or be done)have my shoes mended
  14. (takes an infinitive with to) used as an auxiliary to express compulsion or necessityI had to run quickly to escape him
  15. to eat, drink, or partake ofto have a good meal
  16. slang to have sexual intercourse withhe had her on the sofa
  17. (used with a negative) to tolerate or allowI won't have all this noise
  18. to declare, state, or assertrumour has it that they will marry
  19. to put or placeI'll have the sofa in this room
  20. to receive as a guestto have three people to stay
  21. to beget or bear (offspring)she had three children
  22. (takes a past participle) used as an auxiliary to form compound tenses expressing completed actionI have gone; I shall have gone; I would have gone; I had gone
  23. had better or had best ought to: used to express compulsion, obligation, etcyou had better go
  24. had rather or had sooner to consider or find preferable thatI had rather you left at once
  25. have done See done (def. 3)
  26. have had it informal
    1. to be exhausted, defeated, or killed
    2. to have lost one's last chance
    3. to become unfashionable
  27. have it to win a victory
  28. have it away or have it off British slang to have sexual intercourse
  29. have it coming informal to be about to receive or to merit punishment or retribution
  30. have it in for informal to wish or intend harm towards
  31. have it so good to have so many benefits, esp material benefits
  32. have to do with
    1. to have dealings or associate withI have nothing to do with her
    2. to be of relevance tothis has nothing to do with you
  33. I have it informal I know the answer
  34. let someone have it slang to launch or deliver an attack on, esp to discharge a firearm at someone
  35. not having any (foll by of) informal refusing to take part or be involved (in)
noun
  1. (usually plural) a person or group of people in possession of wealth, security, etcthe haves and the have-nots

Word Origin

Old English habban; related to Old Norse hafa, Old Saxon hebbian, Old High German habēn, Latin habēre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for had better

better

adj.

Old English bettra, earlier betera, from Proto-Germanic *batizo-, from PIE *bhad- "good;" see best. Comparative adjective of good in the older Germanic languages (cf. Old Frisian betera, Old Saxon betiro, Old Norse betr, Danish bedre, Old High German bezziro, German besser, Gothic batiza). In English it superseded bet in the adverbial sense by 1600. Better half "wife" is first attested 1570s.

better

n.

late 12c., "that which is better," from better (adj.). Specific meaning "one's superior" is from early 14c. To get the better of (someone) is from 1650s, from better in a sense of "superiority, mastery," which is recorded from mid-15c.

better

v.

Old English *beterian "improve, amend, make better," from Proto-Germanic *batizojan (cf. Old Frisian beteria, Dutch beteren, Old Norse betra, Old High German baziron, German bessern), from *batiz- (see better (adj.)). Related: Bettered; bettering.

have

v.

Old English habban "to own, possess; be subject to, experience," from Proto-Germanic *haben- (cf. Old Norse hafa, Old Saxon hebbjan, Old Frisian habba, German haben, Gothic haban "to have"), from PIE *kap- "to grasp" (see capable). Not related to Latin habere, despite similarity in form and sense; the Latin cognate is capere "seize." Old English second person singular present hæfst, third person singular present hæfð became Middle English hast, hath, while Old English -bb- became -v- in have. The past participle had developed from Old English gehæfd.

Sense of "possess, have at one's disposal" (I have a book) is a shift from older languages, where the thing possessed was made the subject and the possessor took the dative case (e.g. Latin est mihi liber "I have a book," literally "there is to me a book"). Used as an auxiliary in Old English, too (especially to form present perfect tense); the word has taken on more functions over time; Modern English he had better would have been Old English him (dative) wære betere. To have to for "must" (1570s) is from sense of "possess as a duty or thing to be done" (Old English). Phrase have a nice day as a salutation after a commercial transaction attested by 1970, American English. Phrase have (noun), will (verb) is from 1954, originally from comedian Bob Hope, in the form Have tux, will travel; Hope described this as typical of vaudevillians' ads in "Variety," indicating a willingness to perform anywhere, any time.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with had better

had better

Also, had best. Ought to, should. For example, You had better finish this one before starting another, or We had best be going. [Mid-1400s] Also see you'd better believe it.

In addition to the idioms beginning with have, also see entries beginning with get had, and keep

    The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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